Denture Care Tips for Live-in Carers

Health & Medical Blog

Among the many responsibilities a carer has for an elderly individual living at home, caring for a patient's dentures can be one of them. As well as seeing to it that your patients attend regular check ups and necessary treatment, it is good to know how to care for and maintain their dentures on a daily basis.

As a carer, the following denture and oral care tips may prove helpful in ensuring comfort and long wear for patients with dentures.

Cleaning their dentures

Dentures can attract stains and a build up of plaque just as real teeth can, so it's vital to clean them regularly to avoid spreading bacteria to the mouth and gums. You should clean your patient's dentures with a soft-bristled orthodontic toothbrush or a specialist denture cleaning brush. These are not the same as regular toothbrushes and can be supplied by a local dental hospital or pharmacy.

To remove stains and food residue from dentures, clean them gently using lukewarm water and unscented hand soap or a mild toothpaste. To thoroughly cleanse dentures, they must be left to soak overnight in a disinfectant solution. A 1992 dental study revealed that older individuals have a higher count of oral bacteria than most, which is why the daily cleansing of dentures is particularly vital in preventing oral sores and infections.

Caring for their gum health

Whether or not your patient has partial or complete dentures, gums also need to be cared for to prevent sores from denture wear and possible gum disease. Upon removing your patient's dentures, make sure they rinse out their mouth with a mouthwash specialised for sensitive teeth and gums. Avoid mouthwash varieties with whitening properties as these can be too abrasive on the gums and cause a stinging sensation.

After using mouthwash, you can help your patients promote a healthy oral flora by massaging the gums with a soft washcloth or soft-bristled toothbrush. This regular massaging action can stimulate blood flow and help soothe sore spots on the gums in between wear.

Symptoms of ill-fitting dentures

An immediate sign of ill-fitting dentures can be slurred speech or patients speaking through a clenched mouth. However, some people in your care may not always be able to voice their concerns about their denture discomfort or effectiveness. Look out for these other symptoms of ill-fitting dentures and be sure to consult their local denture clinic for a correct fit.

Mouth sores and a diminished appetite can be a sign of poorly fitted dentures. Sores are usually due to the friction of dentures rubbing back and forth in the mouth. This can make eating quite painful as acidic foods and drink come into contact with friction wounds.

A change in the patient's weight can also be a sign of poor dentures. Patients may skip meals to avoid the pain of eating with dentures that rub inside the mouth. Patients may also gain weight as a result of avoiding chewing healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables and opting for soft, sugary snacks instead.

Denture complications from illness or medication

Lastly, it's important to take into consideration an illness or side effect from treatment that could be the cause of denture discomfort in your patients. Patients with diabetes and osteoporosis, for example, can experience gum swelling due to fluctuating levels of blood sugar and this can lead to ill-fitting dentures.

Additionally, an elderly patient receiving chemotherapy treatment in the head or neck area can experience stiffness in their jaw and a dry mouth -- both of which can contribute to an uncomfortable denture fit. If this is the case, be sure to speak with your patient's GP about how to safely reduce symptoms of facial swelling in order to make their dentures more manageable.


29 July 2016

Picture Of Health: A Blog About Medical Matters

Hey there. My name is Wade, and I have been a first aid volunteer for the past twenty years. Most weekends you will find me at football games, rodeos, agricultural shows or fun runs. I really love being able to help at these events and provide the necessary level of assistance. As a first responder, my medical role is very limited, but, many injured people do contact me to give thanks after they recover. This has further sparked my interest in health and medicine. I love watching medical shows and reading basic texts to gain a greater understanding of particular medical problems. I'm sure there are others like me who take an amateur interest in health and medical matters. I started this blog to share intriguing information I come across. I hope you find my topics fascinating and instructive. Thank you for dropping by.