Dental Care For An Aging Population


Geriatric dentistry has emerged as a pivotal field today due to the cumulative impact of dental issues that develop over a period

Geriatric dentistry has emerged as a pivotal field today due to the cumulative impact of dental issues that develop over a period

Dr Parthasaradhi Reddy, founder Chairman, FMS Dental Clinics shares how geriatric dentistry is evolving and why oral health care for elderly is important

Oral health care for elderly people is crucial as they age, because it significantly impacts overall health. As we age, the general health always will be compromised and our immune system weakens, making us more susceptible to gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoporosis and joint issues. Oral infections, gum disease, tooth decay, loose teeth are some of the common oral diseases as we get older.

Poor oral health can also exacerbate existing conditions like diabetes and cardiac disease. Additionally, dental issues can affect nutrition and speech, leading to malnutrition and social isolation. So, a well-balanced diet holds utmost significance for the elderly, ensuring their vitality. Promoting healthy teeth and gums is very important for effective chewing in the elderly.

Contrary to common misconceptions like “you don’t need teeth after a certain age”, the importance of oral care actually amplifies with age, highlighting the crucial role of maintaining healthy teeth and gums throughout life. Proper oral care, including regular dental check-ups, brushing and flossing is essential for maintaining quality of life and preventing systemic health problems in older adults.

Geriatric dentistry has emerged as a pivotal field today due to the cumulative impact of dental issues that develop over a period. These issues often stem from a combination of factors including years of wear and tear, changes in oral hygiene habits and medical conditions that affect oral health. Additionally, older age can lead to reduced saliva production, which plays a crucial role in protecting teeth and gums. Moreover, chronic illnesses and medications commonly prescribed to older adults can also contribute to oral health challenges.

The need to deliver dental services to old age homes, physically challenged elderly individuals, visiting aged people who cannot travel much should be the new line of social commitment. Therefore, Geriatric Dentistry focuses on addressing these specific needs of older adults, providing tailored preventive care, treatment for existing dental problems and solutions for restoring oral function and aesthetics, ultimately enhancing their overall quality of life.

Geriatric patients require robust support from government agencies, corporates and society as a whole to address their unique needs effectively. Government agencies can allocate resources for geriatric healthcare programs, ensuring access to affordable dental services and social support systems.



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