Oral health and dementia


We are aware that good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist plays an important role in the wellbeing of everyone.  Healthy teeth and gums make it easier to eat well and enjoy good food. Poor dental health can affect a person’s comfort, appearance, behaviour and general health. Every person with dementia needs an individualised preventive approach to dental care that should ideally begin as soon as dementia is diagnosed.


Dementia  Australia Helpsheet – Dental Carehelpsheet_dentalcare

Read online or download and print the comprehensive information for maintaining good oral health at home from the Dementia Australia website.
This information will assist in planning an individualised preventive approach to dental care.

DVD – Dental care for people with dementia  /  with Teepa Snow  (2012)

This DVD comprehensively covers the following topics (140mins)  teepa snow_dental care_web

  • common dental care issues and how to overcome them
  • why people with dementia are likely to react negatively to common oral care procedures
  • changes in motor skills and sensation
  • how to create a more calming environment through changes to lighting, temperature, and more
  • about techniques and tools to adapt oral care techniques to increase cooperation and improve dental care results


Youtube: Dementia and oral care

Watch the following video on the six step approach to assisting someone to brush their teeth.

Education tools for dental practitioners

Partnership in Care – a series of Continuing Professional Development videos  funded by Dementia Australia are designed to support dentists treating people living with dementia.

The videos were developed jointly by dentists, medical practitioners and people living with dementia and their carers. The series highlights the importance of continuity of care, using preventative dentistry and ensuring the person with dementia has access to appropriate dental care for the duration of their condition.


dentalblogpost_USOur Dental Care Blog – Improving Oral Health For Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease Or Related Disorders

This post aims to ensure that the dental visit for the person living with dementia is successful. This requires the awareness and cooperation of patients, caregivers and dental professionals

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Article: Don’t forget the teeth: how can the dental discipline improve the care and well-being of people with dementia? / Danica Zhan

This article attempts to deliver an overview of the essential role of dentists and dental auxiliaries (dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians) in the maintenance of oral health in people compromised with dementia.

Australian Journal of Dementia Care (Posted on December 6, 2016)

JDC_MAR2017Article : The vital importance of oral health in dementia care

Poor oral health is often associated with dementia but skilled professional interventions can break the link. Authors Amanda Thompsell and Hannah Luff offer some practical advice.

The Journal of Dementia Care  25(2) March/April 2017 p.28-29

Note: if you’re interested in this article please use this form to request it.