Preventive Dental Care In Early Dementia May Limit Problems Later, Researchers Say

Reuters (2/5, Crist) reports that providing preventive dental care to patients in the early stages of dementia could help limit major oral health problems in the future, researchers say. “Dementia is associated with a change in health habits, including two major ones – diet and teeth cleaning,” said Robert Emanuel of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust in Sussex in the UK. “If not looked after, their teeth can deteriorate quite quickly,” he added. After surveying “51 patients about 10 weeks after these individuals had received a dementia diagnosis,” Emanuel and colleague Anne Sorensen of Brighton and Sussex Medical School determined most had not received oral health education, nor were they offered fluoride treatments. “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.”
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