This study was performed to determine the prevalence of oral health conditions unnoticed by doctors and ward staff that may increase risk of incidents and/or accidents in hospitalised patients with moderate-severe dementia.
BACKGROUND DATA DISCUSSING THE PRESENT STATUS OF THE FIELD:
Dementia patients may not recognise risks in the mouth, such as tooth mobility or ill-fitting dental prostheses and/or dentures. In addition to the risk of choking, injury by sharp edges of collapsed teeth or prosthodontics could pose risks. However, many previous publications were limited to case reports or series.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Ninety-two consecutive hospitalised dementia patients (M: 52, F: 40, median age: 82.5 years, range: 62-99 years, from 2011 to 2014), referred for dentistry for dysphagia rehabilitation, were enrolled in this study. Participants referred for dental treatment with dental problems detected by ward staff were excluded. All participants had a Global Clinical Dementia Rating Score >2. Their dental records were evaluated retrospectively for issues that may cause incidents and/or accidents.
Problems in the mouth, for example tooth stumps, dental caries, and ill-fitting dentures, were detected in 51.1% of participants (47/92). Furthermore, 23.9% (22/92) showed risk factors that could lead to incidents and/or accidents, for example falling out of teeth and/or prosthodontics or injury by sharp edges of teeth and/or prosthodontics.
Hospitalised moderate-severe dementia patients had a high prevalence of oral health conditions unnoticed by doctors and ward staff that may increase risk of incidents and/or accidents.
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