Toothache can change the behavior

Toothache can be the cause of seemingly unexplained behavioral changes in dementia patients: A friendly old lady is grumpy, suddenly screams at other residents, no longer eats and does not allow for body care. Would you have thought of a toothache now?

Such behavioral changes can actually be triggered by toothache. Dementia patients have a changed body feeling, so that

  • they can no longer associate pain sensations with the corresponding body site,
  • the pain tolerance is increased by the disturbance of perception, and only violent pains are perceived at all.

In addition to this, dementia patients are often unable to verbally express themselves, so that only the famous "fat cheek" provides information about the cause of the problem.

These behavioral problems are typical for toothache

  • Reject the food intake
  • Reject the fluid intake
  • worried, anxious expression
  • Distorted facial expression
  • Rejection of oral hygiene
  • halitosis
  • withdraw
  • motor restlessness
  • Rocking movements while sitting
  • Cry, moan, groan
  • tangible bursts of impulse

Picture credits: zinkevych /

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