Oral Health Care & Dementia

Oral Health Care & Dementia

Caring for those in need.

At our friendly and welcoming Abbey Road dentist we invest a lot of time and effort into not only providing modern, efficient and professional dental healthcare, but also ensuring we keep up to date with all the latest dental news, information and potential breakthroughs relating to our industry.

Doing this enables us to ensure our patients are first in line for any useful information or treatments that could help improve their dental care.

One recent piece of information we thought our NW8 patients would appreciate hearing, was in a recent article about the relationship between dental health and dementia, from the British Dental Health Foundation.

The article discussed the idea that early stages of dementia might be something dentists can detect through oral health checks. The reason behind this isn’t particularly scientific either, which is great as it means it’s information we can all understand and use right now.

The charity discusses the fact that those with dementia struggle completing everyday tasks, such as caring for their teeth in the same way they did before. So as their oral health declines and they continue to attend regular checkups with their dentist, a key signal is available for the professionals to see, in that the patient’s behaviour has changed and dementia may be an underlying reason why their oral health has suddenly started to decline.

The foundation believes that:

“Offering people with dementia plans for effective health care can ensure their oral health, and overall health, is not put at further risk.”

The CEO of the foundation, Dr Carter OBE, believes recognising this signal can pave the way for improved oral health care for people suffering from the disease. Those who have not yet been diagnosed are likely to struggle communicating issues they are having with their oral health and so need dentists and doctors to recognise new behaviours that indicates potential symptoms of dementia. When this happens the patient then gets quicker diagnosis, support and health care overall.

Here at our dentists in Abbey Road we fully support this approach and wholeheartedly advocate any advances in attitude and awareness that enable our patients to have better healthcare. People suffering with dementia may need support with their oral health, and in the early stages too. If the condition isn’t diagnosed and the person begins to neglect their oral health, all kinds of negative things can happen. Tooth decay and infections can establish and nutrition may even suffer if oral pain is acute and the affected person doesn’t know how to communicate this.

As a general rule, regular checkups with our NW8 surgery are the best way to ensure oral health is managed effectively. If you care for an elderly relative or friend, supporting them attending both their doctors and dentists appointments is really helpful, as both form an important part of their overall health care.

Abbey Road Dental, NW8

If you would like to book yourself in for a checkup, or a friend or relative you are supporting or care for is due for their check up, please give us a call on 02076241603 and we will be more than happy to make an appointment for you.

Support

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and require further support or advice in relation to the subject of dementia, the following sites can help:

https://www.dementiauk.org/information-support/

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/dementia/help-and-support/

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia-guide/pages/dementia-help-and-support.aspx

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