If you’re a loved one or caretaker of someone who has Alzheimer’s, you know first-hand how the disease impacts oral health and hygiene. Frequent brushing and daily flossing may require more instruction, and as the disease worsens, some people stop taking care of their teeth altogether. Your attention is crucial for helping your loved one maintain healthy teeth and to prevent difficulties eating, digestive issues, and serious infection. For regular checkups, cleanings, and necessary dental work, the Sleep Dentists are experienced in providing Alzheimer’s dentistry.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dental Health
Prevention is perhaps even more important for patients with Alzheimer’s. In the early stages of the disease, regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist help to prevent major problems requiring extensive treatment later on. Oral health becomes more challenging as the disease advances. The Alzheimer’s Association provides helpful tips on helping an Alzheimer’s patient maintain good dental hygiene habits.
These tips include:
- Provide short, simple instructions over vague directives. Rather than telling the patient to brush their teeth, break toothbrushing down into simple steps. Start with “place toothpaste on the brush.”
- Provide an example, either by brushing your own teeth or by guiding the patient’s hand.
- Monitor their dental health and, if the person with Alzheimer’s wears dentures, watch out for mouth sores or painful areas.
Choosing a dentist who works with people with Alzheimer’s helps make receiving dental care easier. At Sleep Dentists, we use sedation to help people in the late stages of the disease receive the care they need.
Alzheimer’s Dentistry with Sedation
In addition to helping the person with Alzheimer’s maintain excellent dental hygiene, it’s important that you stay on top of their regular visits to the dentist to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and infection. Gum disease has been linked to a host of other health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Its prevention requires regular dental attention.
At Sleep Dentists, we use sleep, or sedation dentistry in Ft. Lauderdale to help people with Alzheimer’s and other diseases or disabilities receive regular dental care. The difference in our approach is that we put patients completely to sleep. This sleep dentistry is a real benefit for people with advanced Alzheimer’s, especially, as they are often reluctant to relax into the dentist’s chair. This resistance makes performing longer treatments a significant challenge. But sedation dentistry helps patients glide through dental work, completely removed from the sights, smells, and sounds of what’s going on around them.
Following the treatment with sedation, the patient will be escorted to one of our comfortable recovery rooms while the effects of the medication wear off. They may be groggy for the rest of the day, a normal side effect of sleep dentistry.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you are the caretaker or family member of a person with Alzheimer’s, it’s up to you to help them receive necessary dental care. Learn more about Sleep Dentists and how we can help. Contact us to discuss sleep dentistry or to schedule a free consultation today.