Situational Challenges

Medical / Wider Health IssuesAgeing and The ElderlyDementia and AlzheimersLearning and Physical DisabilitiesAutismYoung children
In many situations achieving oral health can be a challenge to the individual and the carer alike. Those with certain medical conditions, dementia, physical and learning difficulties, autism and the elderly can all be more susceptible to heightened senses, making oral hygiene an unpleasant or uncomfortable experience.
Senses mission is to provide solutions to oral health issues – no exceptions. 

Medical / Wider Health Issues

Broader health problems may also affect oral health. For example, xerostomia is defined as dry mouth resulting from reduced or absent saliva flow. Xerostomia is not a disease, but it may be a symptom of various medical conditions, a side effect of radiation to the head and neck, or a side effect of a wide variety of medications. Limited dietary intake (e.g. due to illness or pre or post-operative) also reduces protective saliva secretion.Mouth breathing is common in unconscious patients, also leading to xerostomia.

As well as being very unpleasant for the sufferer, consequences such as difficulties eating and communicating are potentially serious and need to be managed.

Ageing and The Elderly

Elderly people may have problems managing their own dental hygiene due to issues with dexterity. Long-term conditions such as arthritis and Parkinson’s disease can make it harder to hold and use a toothbrush and to go for dental treatment.

People now keep their natural teeth for longer, but this can mean they need more complex dental care than people without dentures. On the other hand, denture wearers are at increased risk of chronic denture stomatitis, a common condition where mild inflammation and redness of the oral mucous membrane occurs beneath a denture.

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a common complaint found often among older adults, affecting approximately 20 percent of the elderly. However, xerostomia does not appear to be related to age itself as much as to the potential for elderly to be taking medications that cause xerostomia as a side effect.

Saliva has many important functions including antimicrobial activity, mechanical cleansing action, control of pH, removal of food debris, lubrication of the oral cavity and remineralisation.

Dementia and Alzheimers

People living with dementia have a high rate of tooth decay and gum disease possibly because they find it difficult to perform their normal daily activities. Others may not be able to express that they have a toothache and leave problems untreated.

 It is common for people with dementia to lose their sense of taste, so they tend to like strong tasting food, especially sweet food and drink, even if they haven’t liked it in earlier life. It’s important that people living with dementia receive the help they need to keep their teeth and gums clean and free of debris so that they can maintain their self-esteem and avoid pain and infections.

Learning and Physical Disabilities

Some patients may be unable to carry out oral care or express their problems with it. Medications given in syrup form, in addition to a tendency to mouth breathe, can result in dental caries and dry mouth (xerostomia). Those with severe and profound learning disabilities may have behavioural problems, perhaps with biting and/or oral sensitivities that make their oral hygiene difficult to maintain.


Autism varies widely in symptoms and severity, and some people have coexisting conditions such as ADHD, intellectual disability or epilepsy.

People with autism often process sensory information differently and they can be either less sensitive or extra sensitive to sights, sounds, smell, taste and touch. Having your teeth brushed can really challenge the senses and may be a main anxiety trigger for an autistic person.

Young Children

Establishing a regular cleaning routine with our children is a fundamental part of teaching good oral health care. However, this isn’t always easy to achieve. For some children, the process of teeth cleaning can be uncomfortable or unpleasant for a variety of reasons.

We have developed products aimed to help overcome some of these issues by making the brushing experience as pleasant as possible. These are packaged under our children’s Buddies brand, with fun characters and innovative delivery systems. For example, our Buddies toothpaste has a squishy character lid and the pump dispenser delivers just the right amount of paste with one press.

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From the makers of

Use on extra soft, small brush head for optimum results.
Contains 1450ppm fluoride for best protection.