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Understanding The Difficulty Of Oral Hygiene With Dementia

There’s nothing that helps maintain good oral health quite like a commitment to a dental hygiene routine. Combined with twice-a-year visits to the dentist, your smile benefits greatly. Unfortunately, as we age, it can become difficult to meet both of these requirements. While certain medical advances have made it possible for us to enjoy longer lifespans, it’s not all roses. As the population lives to a later age, the yearly diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and dementia continue to rise.

Understanding The Increased Difficulty Of Oral Hygiene With Dementia

With the rising number of diagnoses of Alzheimer’s has come an increasing rate of those who die as a result of it. In recent years it has risen to be the sixth highest-rated killer of Americans. Their ability to stick to a schedule, keep plans, and maintain routines is difficult. Among the areas impacted by their condition is their oral health.

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health printed a study that demonstrates the effect on those with dementia. One of the important things that has stood out is that their oral hygiene tended to suffer. Almost ten million new diagnoses of dementia-related diseases are recorded each year. Of these patients, nearly half of them have been indicated as having Alzheimer’s. This number seems to increase with each passing year, in part due to lengthening lifespans. The medical industry continues to improve the duration of our life and their quality. Other causes continue to be researched, but it’s clear that these patients need oral health care.


Dementia Patients Can Get Help From Their Dentists

All members of the dental and medical industries strive to provide good accommodations for those with this condition.  Their efforts to provide this kind of accommodation have included new techniques and modifications of care. Among these changes can be found:


  • Fluoride and sealant treatments that provide extended protection
  • Coordinated dental care for those with dementia
  • Alternate treatment plans from insurance providers
  • Appointment dates and times aimed to accommodate periods of good focus


These efforts are the result of the dental industry’s dedication to providing effective treatment for all patients. By coordinating with caretakers and family members, they can improve the oral health care of these patients. The solutions that are provided work to take the reality of these patients into account. An ongoing developing plan of care is necessary to provide greater quality of life for these patients.

Coordinating with your dentist is the first step in the journey of getting the care needed. They’ll provide you with information about the accommodations they can give to you and your family. These options will be more effective if you start sooner than later. When working with your dentist, be sure to connect them with your physician. They’ll work together to develop an oral health care plan that will address the needs of the patient. Don’t wait until gum disease has taken hold; get started on developing a care plan for your loved one today.

Dr. Shadi Heidarian Heritage Park Dental has diligently served the Palo Alto, Atherton, and San Francisco areas with friendly and effective dental care for more than 12 years under the guidance of Dr. Shadi Heidarian. Every year Dr. Heidarian continues to advance her dentistry expertise to guarantee her patients the latest and most effective treatments.
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