When it comes to helping those with Alzheimer’s disease receive the oral care they need, both the patient and dentist face multiple challenges ahead. Caring for Alzheimer’s patients means understanding that with this irreparable disease comes issues ahead that can impair their ability to care for their oral health on their own. Through the cooperation of dentists and the patient’s family members, it’s essential to continue bringing awareness to this disease and help provide those family members with the resources they need to face the challenges ahead. For dental treatments, it’s vital that those patients receive their treatments during the earliest stages of their condition to help those patients have better oral health in the future.
It can be difficult to determine why oral health declines with this disease, and today, we’re going to look at what research leads this connection to occur and how family members of those people can better help their loved ones receive the care they need.
How Alzheimer’s Affects People’s Oral Health
Alzheimer’s disease and oral health problems often both compound each other, with one either causing the other. Aging is often an irreversible cause of this condition, and with aging comes the inability to absorb nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, both of which help with fortifying bones, teeth, and memory. However, some studies from Harvard University source that with gingivitis, there is an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease developing later on due to the presence of the Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria in the gums. This bacteria can ultimately spread from the gums to the brain, destroying nerve cells that control memory.
Other studies, however, cite that Alzheimer’s also impacts oral health by impacting the person’s ability to remember basic tasks, such as brushing and flossing. These studies look into how Alzheimer’s increases the risk of oral health problems because, for those with this condition, it affects regular habits and causes a decline in oral care over time.
How You Can Help Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s
For the best treatments possible, visiting their dentist early is the most assured way to provide them with the treatment they need. However, if you cannot schedule an appointment right away, some other ways to help them care for their oral health include:
- Giving them simple, easy to follow instructions for brushing and flossing their teeth
- Helping them brush and floss their teeth by doing it for them
- Brush and floss your teeth alongside them for companionship
- Get the right dentist to help them care for their oral health
For those with this condition, helping them out in the best ways possible is the most assured method towards giving them better oral health. So make sure to schedule an appointment for your loved one today!