Did You Know?

 

 

Older adults suffering from forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease should be allowed to conduct their own dental care for as long as they can, with reminders from family and caregivers, and supervision if neded.  Establishing a daily care routine in the early stages of dementia is particularly important as assistance in brushing teeth may be needed later on.

Since it can often be challenging to communicate with someone who has dementia, it may be hard to tell if that person is suffering from mouth pain or discomfort.  If you're a caregiver or family member of someone with dementia, it can help to keep an eye out for the following signs of potential dental problems:

  • Refusing to eat hot or cold foods, or any food
  • Frequent pulling at the face and mouth
  • Increased moaning, shouting, or restlessness
  • Refusal to take part in daily activities
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Not wearing dentures  ("Dental Care," Alzheimer's Society, https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20029/daily_living/9/dental_care/3)

 

Let's face it, accidents happen and dental emergencies occur.  Here are a few ways to deal with them when they come up:

  • Knocked-out tooth: try to put the tooth back in its socket without touching the root.  If you can't, then either place the tooth in your child's cheek next to the gum, or if you're worried about the child swallowing the tooth, place it in a glass of milk and call your dentist immediately.
  • Cracked tooth: rinse the nouth with warm water to clean it out and give the child a cold compress to place against the side of the mouth to keep any swelling down.  Then call your dentist immediately.
  • Tongue or lip bite: rinse the mouth with warm water and apply a cool or cold compress to the affected area.
  • Toothaches: rinse the mouth with warm water and gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between teeth, as this can be exacerbating the pain.  Call your dentist as soon as it's convenient.
  • Objects stuck in teeth: try to use floss to gently remove it, but if that doesn't work, call the dentist.  Do not try to use a sharp, solid instrument to remove the object as it may cause further damage.

This information was taken from a chapter in my first book titled Changing the Face of Dentistry Part Two of the book, Your Mouth at Every Age, is a great reference guide detailing what you can expect from your mouth at every age..

To purchase a copy of the book, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Changing-Face-Dentistry-Achieve-Wellness/dp/1642250244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534703502&sr=8-1&keywords=changing+the+face+of+dentistry

 

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