March 2018: Prevention is key in patients with dementia
Preventive dental care provided in the early stages of dementia could help limit major tooth problems later, researchers say.
"Dementia is associated with a change in health habits, including two major ones — diet and teeth cleaning," said Robert Emanuel.
A recent study in the U.K. that looked at patients with a recent dementia diagnosis found that although 80 percent of patient said that they were registered with a dentist or had seen a dentist regularly, preventive care appeared to be lacking.
"With dementia patients, we tend to be treatment-oriented and there's not as much talk of prevention," Emanuel said. "Early in the disease, we should build positive habits so patients don't forget what their dentists advise."
"It has been said, 'Oral health is the gateway to quality of care and everyday life at old age,'" said Stefan Renvert of Kristianstad University in Sweden, who researches oral health in dementia patients living in residential facilities.
Dr. Lauren Vredenburg Dmd
Calgary Fine Dentistry