Acta Scientific Dental Sciences (ISSN: 2581-4893)

EditorialVolume 5 Issue 5

Elderly Oral and Dental Health

Adnan Ćatović*

Department of Fixed Prosthodontics and Geriatric Dentist, School of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

*Corresponding Author: Adnan Ćatović, Department of Fixed Prosthodontics and Geriatric Dentist, School of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia.

Received: March 22, 2021; Published: : March 25, 2021

Citation: Manali Panjwani. “Is there any Need to Visit a Dentist Every Six Months?". Acta Scientific Dental Sciences 5.5 (2021): 01-02

Abstract

  The aging of peoples is a worldwide phenomenon. Older people are considered to be people aged 65 and over, although according to many authors and professions this is a relative term, because it is a much more important biological criterion than the calendar criterion in determining age.

  Aging includes weakening of general health among the elderly. That implies increase in the number of diseases, a decrease in functional ability and respiratory capacity, and a decrease in muscle mass and strength. The aging process is a highly variable process and is influenced by many factors: including genetic predisposition, disease and environmental influences, state of health, living conditions and other everyday mental and physical activities. The health of elderly varies greatly individually and depends on living conditions from before, too. The prevalence of disease and infections increases with aging at the population level and affects quality of life and functional ability in old age. The last impact on general health of elderly is current pandemic disease COVID 19.

  Chronic systemic diseases, low income and social status of the elderly, along with physiological changes associated with aging in all organs and organ systems, affect the deterioration of the stomatognathic system in this population group. One such is inflammation, past or present, which can lead to impaired oral and general health. The mouth is often a source of focal infection for the whole organism. The biggest problem of oral health of the elderly is still toothlessness. On a theoretical level, it is reasonable to conclude that most of the missing teeth will be infected before loss or extraction as a marker of previous infections. Poor oral health, especially in the elderly, according to some researches, is correlated with premature death, because in most cases reduce muscle strength and deficient dental status affects masticatory function and nutritional status. The distribution of antagonistic contacts in dental arches is also extremely important too, for quality masticatory function. Many authors associate nutritional status with life expectancy, muscle strength, and even respiratory capacity. Oral health is also an indicator of an individual's lifestyle. A further potential mechanism that explains the association between oral and general health is the fact that poor general health and frequent use of a large number of drugs increases the risk of hypo salivation and some oral diseases. Furthermore, patients with poor general health may also have motor difficulties which affect the ability to brush teeth.

  For the evaluation of the state of oral health and prosthetic care according to functional criteria, Ettinger and Beck in 1984 year proposed the division of the elderly into three groups:

  1. Functionally independent elderly people, who live in their environment independently and make up 70% of the population of people aged 65 and over. Factors that prevent or reduce this group's ability to obtain proper and complete dental and prosthetic therapy are largely related to socioeconomic reasons.
  2. Frail elderly, who have lost some features of independence, but still live in their environment with the help of various services or field services. This group makes up 20% of the elderly population. In addition to socio-economic factors, the lack of support from environment, this group of the elderly may be more severely restricted by proper and complete dental care.
  3. Functionally dependent elderly people cannot live independently in the environment and are tied to their own home or an institution of a stationary form. It is assumed that 5% of functionally dependent elderly people live as "hostages" in their own homes, and 5% are placed in inpatient facilities. In these groups of elderly people, the biggest limiting factor is poor general health and reduced willingness and need for dental therapy.

  Dental status has changed rapidly in industrialized countries over the past decades. The most obvious is the dramatic decline in the prevalence of edentulousness. It is believed that this phenomenon will lead to a decline in demand for complete dentures, but also a decline in the percentage of edentulousness due to demographic changes.


Copyright: © 2021 Adnan Ćatović. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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