Dentition is the characteristic arrangement, kind, and number of teeth inside the mouth. A person can have impaired dentition due to many reasons. One example is that if a person has missing or damaged teeth or dentures that do not fit will have impaired dentition. Dentition can affect a person’s quality of life in terms of appearance, self-esteem, enjoyment from food, dental pain and infections, and overall health status. Since the teeth serve a major role in the process of digestion, studies revealed the relationship between dentition status and dietary habits. Most foods people with poor dentition status stay away from are the ones found to be protective against cardiovascular diseases, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and some cancers. People with tooth loss often choose easier-to-eat foods that contain saturated fat and refined carbohydrates than high-fiber fruits and vegetables. The relationship between oral health and overall health plays a big part in one’s life. Proper oral health measures are vital to prevent tooth loss especially in older adults, who are also at great risk for systemic problems related to impaired dentition.
Goals and Outcomes
The following are the common goals and expected outcomes for Impaired Dentition nursing diagnosis:
- Patient displays ability to care for own teeth and mouth freely and individually as evidenced by daily routine of brushing and flossing, and using mouthwash and fluoridation properly.
- Patient performs daily denture cleaning and care.
- Patient exhibits clean teeth, healthy gums, and mouth with a pleasant odor upon examination.
- Patient gets regular dental checkups as feasible.
Nursing Assessment for Impaired Dentition
The following are the nursing assessment cues for Impaired Dentition. Use the guide below to formulate your assessment findings.
|Assess the patient’s oral hygiene practices.||Oral hygiene information provides direction on possible etiological factors and guidance for subsequent education.|
|Assess the teeth, gums, mucous membranes, and tongue for color, moisture, texture, irritation, and infection. Use a moist, padded tongue blade to gently pull back the cheeks, lips, and gums.||A tongue blade should be used to expose areas of oral cavity for inspection.|
|Assess the patient’s nutritional status.||Poor food choices contribute to dentition problems. Poor dentition can affect food consumption with people with loss of teeth consuming fewer foods rich in fiber such as fruits and vegetables.|
|Assess the fit of dental appliances.||Evaluation may suggest possible causes and guide patient education.|
|Assess the mouth for dryness and breath for odor.||A typical flow of saliva is vital in keeping the teeth clean. Halitosis can be due to dryness of the mouth, dentition, or any medical condition.|
|Assess the patient’s ability to complete regular oral care.||Patients may need assistance in completing oral care.|
|Asses for financial problems to maintaining improves dental hygiene.||Patients may be to proud to ask for assistance or may be unaware of community services available to them.|
|Assess for any complaints of toothache.||Dental caries and abscess development is common and painful, requiring dental assessment and evaluation.|
|Assess to what extent “fear of dentists” plays a role in avoidance of dental care.||Patients may have unwanted experience in the past regarding dental checkups and may be expecting the dental appointment to be uncomfortable. Providing accurate information may help reduce fear.|
Nursing Interventions for Impaired Dentition
The following are the therapeutic nursing interventions for Impaired Dentition nursing diagnosis:
|Provide a mouth care routine including toothbrushing at regular intervals with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
|Cleaning of teeth with a toothbrush and fluoride-containing toothpaste prevents the build-up of plaque.|
|Teach gentle flossing teeth with unwaxed dental floss.||Flossing promotes gum health and prevents the build-up of plaque.|
|Instruct the patient to rinse the mouth with warm saline or an antiplaque mouth rinse.||These measures help promote oral hygiene.|
|Teach that dentures should be removed and cleaned every night.||regular cleaning of dentures will prevent mucosal irritation.|
|Assist the patient in performing oral hygiene every after meal and as often as needed.||Regular brushing of teeth especially every after meals is vital to prevent the build-up of bacteria.|
|Encourage to avoid high-sugar foods.||High sugar foods may cause tooth decay and promotes good oral health and healing.|
|Apply lubricant to lips and oral mucosa as necessary.||Lubrication promotes comfort and prevents dryness and cracking.|
|Instruct patient to obtain regular dental checkups and followups.||Regular dental checkups identify dental problems early.|
|Educate patient about the importance of oral hygiene.||Right knowledge helps prevent possible dental problems.|
|Educate patient about the importance of maintaining healthy diet despite dentition problems.||Adequate nutrition is vital to healthy teeth and body.|
|Educate the patient regarding the importance of dental checkups and followups.||Checkups help identify dental problems early.|
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References and Sources
The following are the recommended sources for Impaired Dentition nursing diagnosis:
- Ackley, B. J., Ladwig, G. B., Msn, R. N., Makic, M. B. F., Martinez-Kratz, M., & Zanotti, M. (2019). Nursing Diagnosis Handbook E-Book: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care. Mosby. [Link]
- Carpenito-Moyet, L. J. (2006). Handbook of nursing diagnosis. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. [Link]
- Sahyoun, N. R., Lin, C. L., & Krall, E. (2003). Nutritional status of the older adult is associated with dentition status. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103(1), 61-66. [Link]
- Urden, L. D., Stacy, K. M., & Lough, M. E. (2006). Thelan’s critical care nursing: diagnosis and management (pp. 918-966). Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby.