Alzheimer’s and Dental Care For a Healthy Mouth

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that affects the body in many ways. Providing a good quality of life is often the goal of family and an important part of that is dental care. It’s unfortunately the case that many Alzheimer’s patients suffer from dental issues, many of which are completely avoidable. As a dentist of 20 years, I’m committed to helping families care for their loved ones. Let’s look at some easy ways you can keep your friend or loved ones mouth healthy.

Daily Oral Care

First up, maintaining daily oral care at home is very important. This includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s can affect an individual’s ability to follow proper care techniques, so it’s important to provide assistance along the way.

To start, it’s important to give the individual clear, discrete instructions. Things like “hold your toothbrush” are good while “brush your teeth” might be a bit too ambiguous. You want to make sure that the instructions you give are short and easy to follow as these are typically easier to follow for Alzheimer’s patients. Show them how on your fist is also another good technique.

If neither of those work, it’s also acceptable to gently brush for them or show them how. Do this with care, and never force it as it can cause pain to the other person. If they are completely uncooperative it’s okay to try again at a later time. Brushing is important, so wait an hour and try again.

Working With Your Dentist

At home care is only half the puzzle, the other part is regular visits to the dentist. A dentist can provide a much deeper clean, and remove built up plaque and tartar. You can’t get rid of this at home, and they will eventually wear away at your teeth.

A dentist will also be able to provide feedback on at home habits and let you know how effective is has been. Many people think they’re taking good care of their teeth, but then come to learn that they haven’t been. A dentist will let you know what’s working, and help make corrections if needed.

An important aspect of working with a dentist is to find the right one. Before going to a new dentist, ask if they have experience working with Alzheimer’s patients. This is important, as to be an effective dentist understanding the disease is critical.

Lastly, it’s also important to coordinate medical treatment with your dentist. If the individual is on any sort of medications, it’s very important to disclose this to the dentist. This is because many medications can interact in harmful ways. In order for a dentist to prescribe safe medications they need to understand the complete picture and choose the ones that will not interact.

Following the above, you can hopefully help keep your loved ones mouths healthy and provide them with a better quality of life. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease, but with a little care at least we can help them live their best life with a healthy mouth.
Dr. Amanda Tavoularis ( For more information go to: []

Dr. Amanda Tavoularis has been committed to excellent dentistry for over 20 years. She studied at the University of Washington School of Dentistry and has gone on to complete over 200 hours of study at the prestigious Kois Center located in Seattle. She belongs to numerous dentistry networks including the American Dental Association and the Wellness Dentistry Network. With being a female dentist on the Dentably team, Dr. Amanda can provide her expertise for dental care for women as well as expecting mothers. She has a son of her own and is committed to providing the most accurate information possible for patients.

Steps to Take Before a Loved One Goes Missing

Join us for our upcoming FREE Seminar:
“Steps to Take Before a Loved One Goes Missing”
presented by:
David Rader, Director of the Ohio Chapter-Texas EquuSearch

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
at The Alois Alzheimer Center
70 Damon Road Cincinnati, OH 45218

Texas Equusearch, Midwest Chapter, is a non-profit local search & recovery team based in Cincinnati, They work with law enforcement and families to help in locating missing loved ones, utilizing resources they have available that will aid in the search.
Individuals with dementia, autism, and mental health issues are cases that are becoming more frequent.
Education is key to help prevent these cases from happening.

Please register today by clicking the link below or by calling us at 513-605-1450.

Register today for our free seminar

For more information about Texas EquuSearch click on the logo.

Join Us for Our 5th Annual Caregivers Conference

Saturday, August 10, 2019
Beechwood Independent School
54 Beechwood Road
Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017

Meet our Guest Speakers:

Teresa Youngstrom is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Dementia Practitioner who understands firsthand the challenges caregiving can bring.
Her own personal experience with a parent with memory loss fuels her drive to teach other caregivers and healthcare professionals. She presents at both local and regional conferences and workshops.

Sylvia Dwertman is a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. She first discovered laughter yoga in 2018, while working for Visiting Angels/Cincinnati West.
She rapidly felt the benefits of this playful, positive exercise in her own life, and those she shares it with. Sylvia loves sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

Saturday’s Agenda:

8:30am: Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:30am: Reducing the Stress of Caregivers Through Laughter Yoga with Sylvia Dwertman
10:30am: Safety with Memory Loss
11:30am: Panel Discussion with Healthcare Professionals

Want to Register? Phone 513-605-1450
or click this link: Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

Sponsored by:

Sign Up for the Free Caregivers Seminar

The Alois Alzheimer Foundation is presenting a free seminar and we hope you can join us!
Tuesday,July 16

Advance Care Planning
presented by:
Lynda Anello
Community Liaison for VITAS Healthcare

Learn important facts about planning for your future healthcare.
Advance Care Planning provides direction to healthcare professionals when a person is not able to make their own healthcare choices.
This is applicable to adults at all stages of life.
Interested in registering? Click this link:

A light meal will be served prior to the Seminar.

Embracing Your Unique Role as a Spousal Caregiver

For married couples, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease often occurs after the couple has been married for decades. With such a history of shared experiences, spouses have long since fallen into a predictable routine. When the symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin, things such as memory loss, disoriented thinking and personality changes can affect the marital relationship.
Despite the fact that spouses provide the majority of care for persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, and that they share the common experience of being married to the person for whom they are caring, it would be wrong to assume that all spousal caregivers’ perceptions are the same. While there are many tasks similar to caregivers – organizing their loved one’s day, providing companionship, assisting with daily activities, perhaps even helping with dressing, bathing and feeding – the approach and the experience for the caregiving spouse can be as varied as the spouse providing the care.
Research studies on the experience of marriage for spouses of Alzheimer’s patients show that some of the burdens most spouses encounter include:
1. guilt for wanting an intimate relationship or for wanting their burden of caregiving to end;
2. frustration with the inability to relate to their loved one due to his/her mental capacity;
3. resentment of having to suppress their own needs or of the marriage vow which promised to care ‘in sickness and in health’;
4. embarrassment or confusion over changes in the spouse’s behavior such as their ill spouse making sexual advances toward the caregiving spouse when they no longer know his or her name;
5. fear of acting selfishly for wanting to attend to one’s own needs and perhaps most common,
6. loneliness and depression,
However, approximately one third of spouses experience these emotions to a far lesser degree, if at all. Things such as one’s overall happiness with their marriage prior to the onset of Alzheimer’s, feeling a sense of commitment to the person as compared to the wedding vows, and having a generally positive attitude and sense of resiliency contribute greatly to the caregiver’s experience and how they continue to find meaning and a sense of peace in such a challenging situation.
If you are one of the minority of caregivers who are not only surviving, but thriving in your caregiving role, bless you! May your outlook be an inspiration to others. If you are a spouse struggling with caregiving, perhaps a good place to start is to simply be honest about your feelings. You don’t have to share them with others; but being honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do may give you a sense of freedom from having to live up to what society presumes a marital relationship should be. Of course, we all want happiness, and your feelings about being a caregiver are neither good nor bad, they just are. Understand them to be your emotional guidance system, and let them help you in directing how you provide care for your husband or wife. When ready, find others who understand and can partner with you on your journey. Naysayers and critics have no place when it comes to honoring what you know to be true for you and your loved one. This is not to say that those who are finding hardship as a caregiver should throw in the towel. Rather, it is to encourage you to know that in starting at a place of honesty, surprising solutions to perceived problems can arise.
Providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is not about logic, following a standard protocol, or pleasing the masses; it’s about individualized care, trusting your gut and both providing assurance and experiencing assurance. When we honor our feelings and act out of kindness and love, there are no wrong choices.

Elizabeth Shulman, D.Min., is the author of Sanctuary in the Midst of Alzheimer’s: A Ministry for Husbands and Wives Caring for a Spouse with Dementia. To contact her, or to find out more about her work, visit:
Rose A. Beeson, “Loneliness and Depression in Spousal Caregivers of Those with Alzheimer’s Disease Versus Non-Caregiving Spouses,” Archives of Psychiatric Nursing 17, no.3 (2003): 140.
Bonorandi, Andrea; Williams, Christine., “Voices of Couples Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease,” FAU Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 57, March 2014.
Rich O’Boyle, “Intimacy, Marriage and Alzheimer’s Disease,” [on-line article] Elder Care Online; available from; accessed 19 November 2005.
Joling K, J, Windle G, Dröes R, -M, Meiland F, van Hout H, P, J, MacNeil Vroomen J, van de Ven P, M, Moniz-Cook E, Woods B, “Factors of Resilience in Informal Caregivers of People with Dementia from Integrative International Data Analysis,” Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders. 2016;42:198-214.
Watson, B., Dawn A.L., Savundranayagam, M.Y., & Orange, J.B., “Links Among Communication, Dementia and Caregiver Burden,” Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiolog, (4), 276-283.