One part of caring for my Dad was easier when he was in the nursing home. They would sedate him when he was due to have his teeth cleaned.
My father seemed to have a major dental phobia. When I started getting involved in his care in 2006, we had dental issues galore. I don’t know when was the last time he had been to a dentist. The first cleaning, and subsequent visits created a lot of grumbling on his part, and certainly made me more of a culprit in his misery.
The topic had only gotten worse through time. Dad was missing quite a few of his molars; the dentist said it was surprising he could even chew.
Forgetting to Brush
The Alzheimer’s Association States: “As Alzheimer’s progresses, the person with dementia may forget how to brush his or her teeth or forget why it’s important. As a caregiver, you may have to assist or take a more hands-on approach. Proper oral care is necessary to prevent eating difficulties, digestive problems and infections.” There are good tips on this website on how to assist a loved one take care of their teeth. Daily Dental Care
Absolute Health Reports:
“Bacteria from the mouth can easily get into the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation wherever it spreads. ” They go on to describe how poor oral health can affect the heart, the brain, respiratory infections, diabetes and more. “Taking care to prevent oral health problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease can go a long way toward decreasing the risk for more serious health problems throughout the body.” Absolute Dental
Much as I’d like to blame my Dad’s dementia on poor oral health, the evidence isn’t conclusive. But then again, like our mothers and dental offices always say:
Brush and floss your teeth!