How nurses can support and improve the mouth care of people with learning disabilities

Service users often struggle to access suitable dental care

Limited access to good dental care during COVID-19 lockdowns meant some service users had little option but to go to the emergency department

  • People with learning disabilities are more likely to have teeth removed than restored if they experience tooth decay
  • Service users have higher rates of gum disease and missing teeth, as well as increased rates of toothlessness and plaque levels
  • Convoluted referral systems and delays in specialist services for people with complex needs or behaviours that challenge means access to suitable dental care can be a struggle

Three years ago, following surgery to remove all her teeth, a Worcestershire nursing home resident died at the age of 49.


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