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Is Poor Oral Hygiene a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?

Ever since you were a child, you’ve probably heard more reminders to brush your teeth than you care to remember. There’s a good reason for that; oral health is crucial if we hope to live long, healthy lives. And research shows that it’s even more important for elderly people.

When an elderly person is no longer able to care for themselves, they might need their caregivers at a nursing home or assisted living facility to tend to their most basic needs. One of the key responsibilities of a nursing home’s staff is ensuring that residents receive proper oral care. When a nursing home doesn’t prioritize this essential facet of its residents’ health, it introduces serious risks of other health complications. And it could be a red flag that the facility isn’t properly caring for its residents in other ways.

The Dangers of Poor Oral Hygiene for Elderly People

Poor oral care can lead to many serious health complications. For example, an infected tooth can spread an infection to other parts of the body, which is particularly dangerous for elderly people who have pre-existing conditions.

The ability to chew food is also critical for elderly people in nursing homes. Malnutrition can weaken a person’s immune system. It can also weaken bones and muscles, which makes falls and fractures more likely and more dangerous.

Poor Oral Hygiene as a Red Flag for Other Problems

If a nursing home fails to attend to residents’ oral health, it might also be negligent in other aspects of care. The same facility might be neglecting to provide adequate nutrition, hydration, medication, or thorough cleaning of patients’ rooms.

Neglecting to perform these routine tasks puts residents at great risk for serious injuries and illnesses. And if the nursing home’s actions (or inactions) endanger residents, concerned family members have a right to take legal action.

Looking for Signs of Neglect in Your Loved One’s Nursing Home

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you might have noticed a warning sign of a negligent facility. Some of the most common red flags to look out for are:

  • Poor oral hygiene (infected, chipped, or heavily stained teeth)

  • Unsanitary living conditions

  • Significant weight loss

  • Inadequate grooming

  • Dehydration

  • A failure to administer necessary medications

These warning signs could indicate that your loved one is in a dangerous facility where they aren’t getting the care they require. If your loved suffers serious injuries or symptoms of neglect because of a nursing home’s neglect, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to get help.

We Hold Alabama Nursing Homes Accountable for Negligence

At Sawyer Law Firm, we’ve built our reputation on the results we get for families of abused and neglected nursing home residents. Other firms throughout the state frequently refer these cases to J.P. Sawyer because they know he can get results.

We’ve recovered over $35 million for our clients, and we aren’t afraid to take cases involving arbitration, which isn’t always true for many nursing home abuse attorneys. If you’re concerned about the well-being of your loved ones, contact Sawyer Law Firm today for a free, private consultation.


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