5 Quick FAQs for Better Oral Health

Do our loved ones with no teeth or on tube feeding need oral hygiene?

Definitely. Studies have shown that for people on tube feeding, normal bacteria in the oral cavity eventually get replaced by bacteria that can cause serious lung infections.

What happens when you neglect an elderly’s oral hygiene?

Poor oral hygiene often leads to 2 main types of dental diseases known as Gum Disease and Tooth Decay. Both of these can cause discomfort or pain and can lead to infection. The pain and infection from these dental diseases can further worsen the confusion associated with dementia.

What are some problems associated with poor oral hygiene care?

Problems associated with poor oral health can be very detrimental. They include, negative effects on self-esteem, poor nutritional status, difficulty in improving diabetic control and an increased risk of pneumonia (especially in elderly with swallowing problems) – All of which leading to an increased incidence of hospitalisations and mortality among the elderly.

What are signs of oral discomfort among elderly patients?

Some common behavioural indicators among the elderly include:

  1. Food refusal
  2. Refusing to wear dentures
  3. Facial expressions such as grimacing
  4. Increased restlessness, agitation, shouting
  5. Disturbed sleep
  6. Aggressive behaviour

What are some ways to prevent gum disease among elderly patients?

To simply put: brush teeth twice daily, ensure that dentures are properly cared for & visit a dentist regularly. Anti-plaque mouth wash can be helpful in preventing gum disease — but ONLY if it won't be swallowed.

More retail items for dental care in older adults can be purchased at Dental Clinic (Clinic 6B, Level 6, TTSH Medical Centre).