It’s more important now than ever to get routine oral care, especially if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia. Even if dementia or Alzheimer’s runs in your family, it can be important to put your oral health high on your list of priorities, as recent studies suggest active gum disease may trigger the advancement of such diseases. This information is based on the spread of gum disease bacteria through the bloodstream, which can then deteriorate neurons inside of the brain, causing memory loss.
Getting dental care early on before problems arise or decay progresses will help keep patients more comfortable. Alzheimer’s dental care can be a challenge because many people with Alzheimers disease have a difficult time managing or communicating needs regarding oral pain, and have an even harder time managing their own oral health. Keeping treatment needs smaller and more affordable can be done by treating them as soon as they are diagnosed.
Because lack of self care does result in many Alzheimer patients being dependent on wearing dentures or other types of removable appliances, sore spots and ill-fitting dentures are another big problem. Make sure your loved one is removing their denture each night and soaking it in water. This allows the gum tissues throughout the mouth to have a rest, reducing infections and preserving bone levels. Forgetting to take dentures out can cause bone to recede quicker, resulting in loose-fitting dentures or sores. Many people will notice a loss in weight, due to the difficulty of eating with a poor-fitting appliance.
It’s important to get routine preventive care even if you wear dentures. Your loved one with Alzheimer disease should be seeing a dentist at least twice a year to screen for oral anomalies and damage to existing teeth.
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
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