10 Ago Hygiene and oral care in disabled patients
There are many problems that must face a person with disabilities, both physical and intellectual. In today’s blog we will focus on the oral care of people with disabilities. Our goal is to guide you and help you minimize the damage and problems that can occur in the oral cavity, and at the systemic level.
The main problems that arise are:
- Dental caries: is given by the bacterial action in combination with soft diets rich in sugars and carbohydrates. Also in combination with prolonged use of bottles or devices that facilitate feeding such as the use of straws or suckers.
- Periodontal disease / gingivitis: consists of inflammation, bleeding and pain of the gums by the action of bacteria on soft oral tissues. All this in combination with soft diets and insufficient hygiene. This manifests at a younger age in a disabled patient.
- Dental anomalies: we refer to the anomaly regarding the number and position of the teeth compared to those considered normal. It may be that the disabled patient has a number of teeth higher or lower than the logical one. Also in the event that the usual positions of the teeth are altered.
- Dysfunctional habits: grinding or clenching teeth, drooling, atypical or infant swallowing … That is, all those incoherent or uncoordinated habits. This leads the patient to not achieve a goal or normal act within the framework of oral functions considered normal.
From a conservative and preventive point of view, we can fight against the appearance of all or almost all of these pathologies. All this if we adopt some advice on hygiene and oral care.
The main one is the control of bacterial plaque. This is the main cause of infectious oral diseases such as caries and periodontal disease. For this we must take into account that brushing in disabled people leads to an adaptation in terms of technique and the tools used for this.
Here are some tips so you can perform hygiene properly for a disabled person:
- «If the patient is not a collaborator»: Carry out dental brushing a minimum of twice a day, using fluorine-rich pastes. It is good to make fluoride and / or chlorhexidine gel applications several times a week if the patient can not be brushed with toothpaste. We will do the brushing with water and then we will place in the form of gel and with very little abundance fluorine or chlorhexidine 0.12%. This is to harden the enamel and disinfect the area. In addition, eating or drinking should be avoided at least 30 minutes after performing the hygiene. We can help with the angulated, electric, interproximal and dental irrigators brushes.
- «If the patient is a collaborator»: If the patient can do a hygiene this must be through repetitive techniques that internalize and learn, a good idea is to perform a routine of brushing. We will always start in the same area and finish with another, making large sweeping movements. All brushing should be done under supervision, with fluoride toothpastes. It is convenient to adapt the toothbrush to facilitate its grip if necessary.
- Gentle, interproximal toothbrushes should always be used before dental floss to perform a greater sweep of difficult areas.
- In patients with dental grinding we will avoid stimulant foods such as cocoa, cola or stimulants.
- We will avoid using gum or candy for halitosis. There are specific products that are not sugary and can not be swallowed.
- Avoid bottles or suction straws.
- Avoid long periods of time beyond 10 minutes from eating until hygiene is done.
From SJD Dentists we encourage you to come to our clinics if you need help to advise and advise you properly. With this we will avoid major complications that can trigger serious health problems.