Clinical update

Oral health for adults in care homes

With more than half of older people residing in care homes suffering from tooth decay, it is essential that staff are trained to administer proper oral care. 

Essential facts

It is estimated that more than 400,000 adults live in UK care homes, 80% of whom have dementia.

More than half of older people in care homes have tooth decay, compared with 40% of over-75s and 33% of over-85s in other accomodation. Care home residents are likely to have fewer natural teeth, and not have enough teeth to eat comfortably or socialise without embarrassment.

Staff should be trained to perform daily mouth care for those who are unable to do this for themselves Pic: iStock

What’s new?

In July, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on oral health (see ). It called for access to dental treatments to be given the same priority as general health for all adults in care homes.

The guidance includes


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