If your aging adult is not able to tell you when she’s in pain from dental issues, you’re left to guess. So learning what signs can indicate dental problems is very important for you as a caregiver.
She’s Having Trouble Eating
One of the first signs of dental trouble for your elderly family member may likely be that she stops eating the way that she has. There could be other reasons that she’s losing her appetite, but it’s a good idea to start with a dental exam if your senior is not eating right.
She Flinches When Something Touches Her Face or Jaw
If your aging adult starts to flinch or make a grimace when something or someone touches her face, that can be an indication that something is wrong. Often pain in a tooth or a jaw can cause swelling that sends pain into your aging family member’s entire face.
She’s Rubbing or Holding Her Cheek or Jaw
While touching the affected area can cause pain, sometimes your senior may find that rubbing the area can bring a little bit of relief. What that can lead to, however, is that your elderly family member is constantly rubbing her cheek or jaw when the pain becomes constant.
She’s Vocalizing or Restless
Depending on your aging adult’s other health conditions, she may not be able to even rub or protect the area that is causing her pain. In that case, your elderly family member might resort to restless behavior or even vocalizations. This can be disconcerting for you as a caregiver because you may not be sure how to respond to this behavior at all or what is causing it.
She Refuses to Wear Dental Appliances that She’s Worn Before
If your elderly family member has dentures or other dental appliances, she may not wear them if she’s experiencing dental pain. This can be confusing for you if she’s had no trouble with them before and it might seem at first as if your elderly family member is simply feeling contrary that day.
Having experienced elder homecare providers available can help you to spot these problems even more quickly. They’ve spent a lot of time with aging family members, so sometimes the signs are easier for them to spot.