Today my husband saw the dentist for
exam and cleaning. It was definitely a
good cleaning that was done. When we
got home I gave him lunch and he seemed okay but than he was in the bathroom with an upset stomach. My
husband has Alzheimer's and I'm thinking the visit to the dentist upset him. Possibly the sounds from the tools
they use to remove plaque and debris
from the teeth. I don't know if I should
continue to put him through that. I look
after him at home and make sure he
always brushes his teeth everyday.
I would love your thoughts on the matter.

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Yes! Dental problems can lead to heart problems. Talk to his doctor about whether or not your husband would benefit from a mild anti-anxiety medication for his dental visits.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Taarna

I was more worried than my mom was about her going to the dentist. She did fine, but I had called ahead and let them know about her Alzheimer's, and asked if they could not use really noisy machines on her. They did her cleaning the old way the first time and she was so good about it that the next time they used the machines and she was still fine. I think it's important to continue the cleanings even if your husband brushes every day.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to ArtistDaughter

Cheeky79: You may want to see what his DDS recommends for his patient with the disease of Alzheimer's. Many well people are 'dental phobics.' Maybe your DH (Dear Husband) was before his dementia dx.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Llamalover47

My mom is bedridden, can’t swallow and have an hard time verbalizing and on PEG tube, we opt not to do any more dental visits. It’s hard on her since here stroke 1 year now. We try to do our best with oral care at home. I struggle with the decision… if I’m doing the right thing. She’s 78.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ynguyen

You never know what the future holds, my mom has been diagnosed with dementia for 9 years now. That would be a very long time without dental care. We take her for regular checks and cleaning, which thankfully she handles very docilly. She had to have a molar removed that was causing reoccurring infection, swelling of her cheek and probably pain she never complained about. So, looking back...I am glad we kept up some kind of dental routine. But I also think it depends on the situation. Some people at my mom's home care, pass away quickly with their illness, and long-term dentistry never had to be factored in.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to SLOtop4ever

He has forgotten it already, you say.

I am pretty with it, but admit to white coat phobia so bad that the site of any dentist of doctor can set me rocking in my chair, lips trembling. I am being spot on honest and perfectly direct here.
Mind you, no one has hurt me; everyone has been kind and just swell to me. And yet, every since a big bout with cancer 35 years ago a mere dental or physical checkup has me sweating out hours of dying 1,000 deaths. I call it PTSD and partner giggles at me. It makes no sense. I take deep breaths.

So pretty much you do what you just did.
While he can cooperate he gets his dental care to prevent gum disease and sepsis.
He will get over it.
I haven't died of trembling lips or too much rocking yet.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to AlvaDeer

I take husband to dentist, 4 times/yearly when budget ok, 2or three when heat bills etc, high. No matter what the dentist says, my husband ignores it. He has had several teeth pulled, resists when I want to help. Almost to the point where I have to accept that he will be toothless, gumming pablum. With this brain disease, he resists all authority Also, I think at some point some dementia patients lose all sense of cause-effect relationship. Maybe that old country song The Gambler, can help: "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'm, know when to walk away, know when to run..." It does wear us down to discuss, flossing and brushing every single day, over and over and over. I get it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BornWestern

It is very important that your husband continue to see the dentist, unless as you pointed out, it stresses him out. Please make sure that it is the dentist visit that is stressing him out, and not something else. How often he sees the dentist, is determined by his "mouth health."

The mouth is a huge breeding ground for germs. There is some research suggesting that poor dental health can lead to heart disease. Poor dental health will lead to tooth decay which is painful. Removal of teeth is not the solution as the jawbone may change its structure. My Mom's infected tooth caused her to not be able to open her mouth very wide and a mild case of blood poisoning. She never complained about the pain because the pain from arthritis was worse than the pain in her mouth.

At some point, you may need to take care of his teeth (brushing, flossing, etc.) When that happens, if you are fastidious, he won't have to visit the dentist that often. However, there is some point, where a person can no longer adequately brush their own teeth. It isn't only that the food is on or between teeth, my experience is that the food gets stuck between the gum and the soft tissue of the mouth and the food needs to be removed from there also (they don't feel the food there). My Mom had a tooth that just fell out, hence food used to sit in that crevice left by the tooth.

Think of the dentist as being a person that specializes in your mouth, not just a cleaner of teeth.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to ChoppedLiver

Did he tell you that his dentist appointment upset him or are you just "thinking" that because he had an upset stomach after he ate lunch?
How did he act while in the chair? Was he calm while letting the hygienist do his cleaning, or did he seem agitated and upset?
The answers to those questions will let you know whether to continue to bring him in for his cleanings or not.
If he was cooperative and calm, then continue to bring him, but if he wasn't and seemed agitated, then I wouldn't put him through them any more.
Someone with a broken brain deserves to be kept calm at all costs.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to funkygrandma59
Cheeky79 Feb 7, 2024
I just asked him, I think by now he has
forgotten that he even went. By tomorrow I know for sure he won't
remember. Sometimes its a good thing
if they don't remember what they were
upset for to begin with.
See 1 more reply
some people on here have mentioned visiting dentists who can come to you, although I have no experience with that
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to strugglinson

I think I'd continue as long as he wants to go and is able to sit through the cleaning, people can live a long time with dementia and problems with teeth are one of the hottest topics on the forum.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to cwillie

This is a good question. How old is he? How severe is the Alzheimers?

My dad had been in assisted living for 6 months, so is no longer near his old dentist. His teeth are generally ok. He asked about going for a cleaning. I left it up to him, whether even go in. He said he will think about it. We are not worrying too much if he doesnt go.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to strugglinson
Cheeky79 Feb 7, 2024
He is 78. I can tell he was anxious before we went, but that is always the case now before any of his doctors
appointments. He was diagnosed with
Alzheimer's about 6 years ago.
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