Nursing Home Negligence in Oregon: Overlooking Dental Care

October 1, 2013

The public is inclined to believe that nursing home negligence only involves allowing a resident to fall out of bed, or not turning a bed-bound patient often enough to avoid bed sores, or perhaps not giving their prescriptions to them properly. However, one of the most prevalent concerns in Oregon and across the U.S. is nursing home caretakers overlooking proper dental care for their residents.

In 1987, the Federal Omnibus Reconciliation Act that dictates nursing home standards, stated nursing home caregivers are required to brush residents teeth twice daily if the resident is unable brush their own teeth due to dementia or other physical restraints.  Unfortunately, all too often, this area of care continues to be ignored or overlooked.  It’s unknown how much pain, or life-threatening illnesses result from this type of negligence in nursing homes, but it is a well-known fact that poor dental hygiene does lead to serious heart problems, in addition to many other serious health threats.

Dental Care to Prevent Dry Mouth and Other Medical Concerns

Nursing home residents, who take various prescriptions for high blood pressure, dementia and other ailments common among the elderly, often experience a dry mouth condition related to their medications.  Dentists will verify that dry mouth exacerbates per dental hygiene and is one of the leading causes for tooth decay and loss of teeth.

If you have a loved one residing in a nursing home, it is extremely important to check their mouths regularly, and to take any concerns you have to the nursing home staff, and then to follow up to ensure the staff complied with your request. If the negligent dental hygiene continues, you may need to enlist the advocacy of an Oregon nursing home lawyer.

Nursing home negligence in overlooking dental care is a serious problem and must be addressed.  If you have concerns about someone you know that resides in a nursing home, contact Savage Law today for a free consultation with a specialized nursing home lawyer.

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