Early Steps to Set Up Oral Hygiene Routines Will Help Dementia Patients Later On
People suffering from dementia and their caregivers face a unique set of challenges as the disease progresses and daily life becomes more difficult. One of these challenges is ensuring good oral hygiene for these patients because, just as for everyone else, oral hygiene is part of a solid foundation for overall health.
It’s important to note that Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are progressive, meaning the disease worsens over time. So it is vital to set up a routine as soon after diagnosis as possible. That way, the routine will be strongly ingrained later on when the disease has a great impact on daily care.
It’s also important to note that medications dementia patients may be prescribed could affect oral health. For instance, many antidepressants cause dry mouth, which can worsen growth of plaque and set the stage for gum disease, dental decay and infection. Dry mouth can also make dentures painful. As well, some antipsychotic drugs can cause involuntary tongue and jaw movements that could affect dentures.
Because of these unique circumstances, it’s even more important to create and maintain a good relationship with your dental healthcare provider. The result of having such a relationship in place is that if or when problems arise, the provider will be familiar with the patient and the patient will be familiar with the dental office setting and the people caring for them.
At Downtown Dental Associates of Portland, we are dedicated to meeting your dental health needs. We seek to exceed your expectations as a partner is your dental and overall health and ensure that you and your loved ones receive the finest care possible.
Contact us today if you have any questions about oral hygiene for people with dementia or any other topic concerning dental health.