Community Blog

What to Do When You Notice Potential Dental Health Issues in Your Parent

By Ketan Shah

Elder Care in Santa Clara CA

Dental health problems can be very serious for an elderly adult. Tooth decay, gum disease, and bacteria are not just issues with the mouth. Instead, they can create potentially severe problems throughout the body. As a family caregiver it is critical that you not only identify when your aging parent might be suffering from serious health complications, but also take steps to address those problems effectively to help prevent severe consequences.

Use these tips to help you respond effectively when you notice potential dental health issues in your parent:

• Ask about them. If you notice unusual behavior in your aging parent that you think might be an indication of dental health problems, ask your parent about them. Tell them what you have noticed and find out the cause behind it. You might find that they are not chewing on one side of the mouth because they feel like they can taste food better on that side, or they are not flossing as hard because they are concerned they have been too rough. Getting as much information as you can helps them to respond effectively.

• Find out how long they have been experiencing the problem. If they are experiencing some type of dental health problem, find out how long it has been happening. This is important information to share with their dentist so that they can quickly identify the problem that your parent has been having.

• Get in touch with their dentist. Call your parent’s dentist to describe the problem that they are experiencing. They can schedule an appointment for you based on the potential severity of the problem. Be sure that your parent is prepared for this appointment and attends it. Not managing dental problems when they arise can lead to severe infections and other health complications.

• Know when to go to the emergency room. If your elderly parent is experiencing serious dental issues and their regular dentist is not available, they may need emergency care. Check for any swelling of the face or pimple-like protrusions on the gum that could indicate an infection. If you notice these, there has been serious trauma, or your parent is not able to eat or drink because of the pain, get them to the emergency room as soon as possible.

If your aging parent has been suffering from dental health problems or you are concerned about their dental hygiene, starting elder care for them may be the ideal solution. An elderly home care services provider can be with your senior on a customized schedule to address their individual needs, challenges, and limitations and offer personalized services to help them maintain their best health, safety, and well-being as they age in place. When it comes to helping them to manage dental problems and preserve better dental health, this care provider can help your parent understand the importance of proper dental hygiene, help them to create a dental hygiene routine that they can follow, and let you know about any signs of difficulties that they might notice so that you can take the proper steps to help them resolve these problems.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Santa Clara, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.