Important information about Dementia and Dentures!
Over time, dentures may loosen for patients due to both weight loss or as the jaw bones shrink away over the years. On average, dentures will naturally loosen even with no weight loss and dentures often require replacement every 10 years.
For patients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, if it seems time to replace the dentures, a patient and their family need to assess the likely adaptability i.e., the ease with which someone can tolerate change – or even dental visits – as this will affect the success and comfort of the denture and the denture wearer.
Surprisingly many patients with Dementia can function well without any teeth as long as they can eat and socialize comfortably. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s or Dementia, a person may no longer tolerate their denture, and sometimes even be happier or more comfortable without their denture! At this stage, it is usually more of a difficult issue psychologically for the family and friends rather than the person with advanced Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease themselves.
Things that may help for loose dentures that a dementia/Alzheimer’s patient can still tolerate wearing:
1) Use a over the counter fixative like Fixodent … Fixatives will not fix so aggressively that you will have difficulty removing the denture!
2) If the person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s is in a care home, please ensure the dentures are kept in labeled box (not in tissues or disposable cups which get thrown away). Maybe even consider a denture box with their name and a photo of dentures on them can help! They should take dentures out at night and clean them for hygiene purposes.
3) Speak to your dentist about relining the denture. Homemade relines may help very temporarily, but if a denture reline is done improperly t can cause some quite complicated changes in the way the teeth meet.
4) Please discuss all options with your dentist so that you are all happy with your outcomes.
Talk to your dental professional about any questions or concerns you have about your teeth, gums or dentures when it comes to yourself or a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s -we are here to help!
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