Oral effects from the disease result from the medications used to treat the disease. Medications used to treat anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and behavior changes from Alzheimer’s disease cause dry mouth called xerostomia.
Patients with Alzheimer’s disease can receive routine treatment. Special dental preventive treatment programs should be developed during the various stages of the disease. Emphasis would be placed on preventive measures such as proper recall intervals, fluoride applications, and stage-specific oral hygiene instruction and aids for the patient and care-givers.
Preventive, early detection, and early treatment of dental problems is necessary because patients with Alzheimer’s disease have a greater incidence of dry mouth, oral lesions, oral fungal infections, gum disease, and root cavities. All of these conditions are best treated before the patient enters the late stages of the disease.
This disease has a personal effect upon myself and my family, for my father has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the past 8 years. Many of the disease specific measures of oral care were applied to my father as he entered the various stages of Alzheimer’s.