Importance Of Oral Health Assessment

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Implementing Oral health Assessment Tool To Improve Oral Care In Older Adults At Cornerstone Nursing Home Annastacia N. Mburu Mt Hood Community College: Nursing department Having good oral health is very important as it can help keep away many diseases which occur as a result of poor oral hygiene. As people age, many factors can contribute to poor oral health: potential physical, cognitive and sensory impairments associated with aging and diseases, Use of prescription and over the counter medications, lack of dental insurance, and poor oral care. Most older adults live in nursing homes where oral health is not very well implemented due to other major health problems which are given the first priority. This puts them at risk for major diseases like heart disease, lung infections, stroke and other problems like Teeth decay, poor appetite, loss of weight, dry mouth, bad breath and others etc. In order to tackle this major problem in cornerstone Nursing home, am proposing the use Oral Health Assessment tool (OHAT). This is a tool that assesses oral health in elderly individuals which covers the patient's current oral health status including factors which can contribute to the risk of oral disease and indicate the need for referral. The tool includes Observation, measurement and palpation of oral cavity, surrounding tissues and natural or artificial teeth by the nurses and caregivers in the facility using a pen light, tongue depressor, and gauze. The OHAT assessment tool covers ten oral hygiene categories: lymph nodes, lips, tongue, cheek and roof of mouth, gums, saliva, natural teeth, artificial teeth, chewing position, and oral cleanliness. The conditions of the oral cavity, surrounding tissues and natural or artificial tee... ... middle of paper ... ...l minimize the fear of oral assessment as the resident will be more reluctant in the absence of intimidating tools. This implementation will also be very helpful to residents who doesn’t have dental insurance. I strongly believe that this tool will shape our path towards improvement on of our residents oral hygiene because each staff member will be involved, therefore everyone will set goals on what they want to acquire before the next assessment leading to better oral care which will reduce risks associated with poor oral health. Reference Chalmers, J., King, P., Spencer, A., Wright, F., & Carter, K. (2005). The Oral Health Assessment Tool — Validity and reliability. Australian Dental Journal, 50(3), 191-199. Roberts, J. (2000). Clinical. Developing an oral assessment and intervention tool for older people: 3. British Journal Of Nursing, 9(19), 2073-2078.
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