Latest studies have proved that poor oral health can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. DNA based documentation exhibited the bacteria causing inflammation in the gums along with bleeding (gingivitis) can reach from mouth to the brain. Gingivalis causes chronic infection in the gums. Such bacteria's are potential enough to link to esophageal, rheumatism and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Oral Manifestations in patients with Alzheimer’s:
- Dryness of mouth (Xerostomia)
- Partial or complete loss of speech and language (Aphasia)
- Mobility in the teeth
- Infection of mucosa underneath the dentures (Candidiasis)
- Bad breath odor (Halitosis)
- Gingival out growth in patients with anticonvulsant drug
- Difficulty in swallowing food
Steps to be taken while brushing in Alzheimer’s patient:
- Assist brushing- In elderly patients affected with memory loss issues are to be provided with assisted brushing as they might not very well cope up to maintain a good oral hygiene. The assistance should hold the tooth brush and brush the patient’s teeth or make him/ her do brushing by holding his hand and moving the brush in the desired direction.
- Use Mouthwash- In case, if the patient is apprehensive while brushing a rinse of mouthwash can help him to keep his mouth clean. It will be better to dilute the mouthwash with water and then introduce it for use.
- Talk therapy- Talking the way how the patient feels comfortable can help you achieve better understanding. It is important for the care taker to talk and explain the importance of maintaining a good oral hygiene.
- Assist in helping him to achieve daily tasks- The care taker should be ready for the entire upcoming situation while taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient. Day by day there thinking ability gets worsened with age than before, keep all the necessary essentials ready for brushing before taking the patient for it.
Dental treatment and preventive measures for Alzheimer’s patient:
- The goal of treatment will be the prevention of oral diseases in each stage.
- Early diagnosis of oral lesion in early stage of Alzheimer’s is essential to favorably modify the disease although healing is virtually impossible.
- If any oral disease is diagnosed in such patients then, complete oral rehabilitation should be done.
- Use of electric tooth brush with fluoridated tooth paste can help him to maintain a good oral hygiene.
- Xerostomia can be overcome by using various salivary stimulants. For example- gum with xylitol, parasympathomimetic drugs or salivary substitutes.