An article published by the BBC earlier this week has raised concerns about access to dental care among the elderly.

Its reported that people in residential care homes are not always getting the access they need to dental services.

The Problem

  • Oral health is not always being assessed on admission
  • Care plans do not cover dental health, or do not include a great amount of detail to provide personalised care
  • Care staff are not trained on oral health
  • Residents cannot access dental care whenever they need it
  • Not all services are covered by the NHS, causing financial strain for some

In a care home this should include:

  • Daily mouth care – teeth or denture cleaning
  • Any additional mouth care products the resident uses
  • The residents dentist
  • When did the resident last see a dentist and when is their next check up due?

Additional consequences of poor dental health include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Aspiration pneumonia¬†
  • Depression and an overall decline in mental health
  • General frailty¬†

Oral health and residents with dementia

These statistics become even more worrisome if we consider those residents unable to communicate their needs verbally.

These people rely on their care providers to assess, identify and act on their needs on their behalf. 

oral health

Read the BBC article.

Read the latest oral health care report by the CQC.