Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dental Care

One of my biggest regrets and frustrations was my Mother's dental care. She often fought me about washing her teeth. And so sometimes I just gave in. As the disease progressed she ground her teeth more. I tried to find dentists to look at her teeth and ran into problems because of her advanced AD and the fact that many dentists would not take medicaid and she had no other health insurance.

After I was hospitalized Mom spent her last 6 months in a private care facility. Mom had been diagnosed with thrush and she was having problem with her teeth. The pain in her teeth contributed to her not eating. When Mom was receiving hospice I talked to one of the nurses about the problems with her mouth. The nurse suggested talking to the doctor and asking about a compounded prescription for "Magic Mouthwash", (a compound that includes viscous lidocaine, nystatin, benadryl and sometimes corticosteroid). This compound seems to offer relief and may be worth discussing with your own doctor or dentist.

Having 20-20 hindsight I would encourage you to seek dental care early and try to find someone who can work with people exhibiting symptoms of dementia. Daily care is so critical.

The Alzheimer's Society fact sheet 448 Dental Care and dementia is a great resource. Another resource is from - Dental Care for Someone with Alzheimer's disease.

Good dental care can help prevent eating difficulties, digestive problems and extensive dental procedures down the road.

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