AS WE AGE, DENTAL HEALTH CARE PLAYS BIGGER ROLE IN OVERALL HEALTH
Palliative care dentistry is the study & management of patients with active, progressive, far advanced disease in whom the oral cavity has been compromised either by disease directly or by its treatment, the focus of care is quality of life.
Palliative care improves the quality of life, comfort, and resilience of seriously ill patients as well as their families. Seriously ill patients are those with life threatening medical conditions, like cancer, organ failure, or dementia, that negativity impact the patient’s daily life or result in a high level of stress for the caregiver.Palliative care can look very different from patient to patient. For a patient with cancer the palliative care team collaborates with the cancer doctor to manage the pain caused by the cancer, the side-effect caused by the treatment and the anxiety and spiritual suffering of having a cancer diagnosis.
CONCEPT OF PALLIATIVE MANAGEMENT- Pharmacological and non-pharmacological modalities can be used for palliation and treatment of oral conditions. In addition, oral hygiene has an important role in achieving and maintaining oral health and in the palliation of oral diseases.
WHO GIVES PALLIATIVE CARE-
Often, palliative care specialist work as part of multidisciplinary team to co-operative team.
Team may consist-
Oral health care is multifaced& includes,the ability to speak,taste,touch,chew,swallow&convey a range of emotions through facial expressions, with confidence and withoutpain, discomfort and disease of the craniofacial complex.
An individual’s oral health can have both a physical &emotional impact .Throughout palliative care, it is hoped that the patient ‘will live till they die’ and the oral cavity goes on that journey with the patient & is often the last area on the body that the relative can be involved in cleaning and caring for. All Health care professionals should work to promote good oral hygiene for there older patients.They should consider an oral examination during an annual wellness visit, especially for those patients who are not receiving regular dental care.
WHY ORAL HEALTH CARE IS IMPORTANT FOR SENIOR PEOPLE?
Oral health care is significant factor affecting older people’squality of life, overall health and wellbeing. Tooth loss, tooth decay (dental caries), gum diseases, Dry mouth and oral cancers are commonly experienced by older people.
Quality of life and oral health
Poor oral health affects an older person’s ability to chew and eat a variety of foods. This causes poor dietary intake and weight loss. Discomfort from poor oral health disrupts sleep and the ability to relax. It also effects an older person’s appearance, self- esteem and self-confidence as well as ability to talk and communicate effectively.
Oral health problems
Poor denture hygiene
Denture with grossly poor fit
Mouthcare is considered one of the most basic of nurshing activities, and palliative care patients are especially vulnerable to oral problems.The management of oral problems or lesions in palliative patients should be carried out as a team work and definite treatment protocol should be followed by both non-dentist palliative are physician and by dental expert and it is strongly marked that paliative care is a multidisciplinary approach and role of dentist is essential oral care protocol to be undertaken that emphasis on routine oral health.
“ The Quality of life is more important than life itself. ”
Oral care in line with ‘Delivering Better Oral Health’ :
Brush teeth twice a day using a soft, samll-headed tooth brush.
Rinse mouth with water after eating
Dentures keep any dentures scrupulously clean ,remove denture at night and clean it
Brush tongue if furry and use antiseptic mouthwash
Ensure the intake of adequate fluids.
Consider highlighting the importance of removing and cleaning away debris,secretions and plaque,
Regularly as part of mouthcare ,to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent pain and infection.
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