Dealing With A Loved One's Dementia Diagnosis? Use These Tips To Help Them Enjoy Better Dental Health

Dentist Blog

Dealing with dementia is one of the worst parts of caring for a loved one as they age. In addition to assisting them with basic needs, such as meals, cleaning ,and shopping, many caregivers also find themselves having to assist with personal hygiene tasks, such as ensuring their loved one changes their clothes, showers frequently and addresses their dental care needs. If your loved one wears dentures and is unable or unwilling to care for them properly, you may also need to assist them in caring for their dentures, as well as helping with other oral hygiene needs to ensure they enjoy the best possible dental health. 

Have the dentures checked to determine condition and ensure proper fit

One of the first steps in helping your loved one enjoy the best possible dental health is to have them visit their dentist regularly to ensure that their dentures are in good condition and fit them properly. When dentures become worn or cease to fit correctly due to changes in the oral structure of the mouth, discomfort can become an issue that prevents them from chewing their food correctly for proper nutrition. In some cases, the dementia patient may even begin avoiding certain foods that are difficult or uncomfortable to chew, such as meat and other protein-rich foods, which can have serious nutritional effects on their overall health. Remember to also make sure your loved one's dental health care providers are aware of the dementia diagnosis and your concerns about their dental health so they can assist you with the best possible dental health care plan. 

Home care tips to prevent denture issues from developing 

In addition to visiting the dentist regularly for basic dental health and denture care, you will also need to do regular home denture care routines and checks to look for signs of denture issues that need to be addressed. These include:

  • doing frequent visual inspections of the dentures to ensure they are not damaged, cracked or showing excessive wear patterns—this is especially important if the dentures have been dropped on the floor or in the sink
  • listening for changes in speech or clicking noises when your loved one speaks or chews that could indicate an issue has developed with the fit or condition of the dentures
  • doing periodic visual inspections of your loved one's gums and oral tissues using a penlight and small dental mirror to look for sores, swelling, or other signs of dental or denture problems
  • monitoring daily dental and denture hygiene routines to ensure they are done properly, and stepping in to assist when necessary

Since the aging process and changes in body condition, such as weight loss or gain, can affect the way that dentures fit, your attention to denture care and condition can be the best way to ensure continued dental health for your loved one.  


30 September 2016

Give Yourself the Gift of a Beautiful Smile

If you are someone who hesitates to open your mouth when you smile because you are embarrassed about your teeth, you should know that there are a number of cosmetic techniques that can give you a beautiful smile you will be proud to show to the world. As a cosmetic dentist, I have seen many clients transform their lives simply by fixing their smiles. This blog is meant to encourage people to find out about the possibilities in cosmetic dentistry so they can feel good about their smiles. A beautiful, confident smile really can change your life. I would love to show you how.