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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-19

Gerodontology - Orodental care for elderly

Department of Public Health Dentistry, H.P. Govt. Dental College and Hospital, Shimla,Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Vinay Kumar Bhardwaj
Department of Public Health Dentistry, H. P. Govt. Dental College and Hospital, Shimla-171001, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9626.101349

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Changing demographics, including an increase in life expectancy and the growing numbers of elderly, has recently focused attention on the need for geriatric dental care. Ageing affects oral tissues in addition to other parts of the human body, and oral health (including oral mucosa, lips, teeth and associated structures, and their functional activity) is an integral component of general health. Oral disease can cause pain, difficulty in speaking, mastication, swallowing, maintaining a balanced diet, not to mention aesthetical considerations and facial alterations leading to anxiety and depression. Certain strategies should be adopted for improving oral health of the elderly, including the management and maintenance of oral conditions, which are necessary for re-establishing effective masticatory function. Oral health is often neglected in the elderly and oral diseases associated with aging are complex, adversely affecting the quality of life. Although majority of oral health problems are not usually associated with mortality, nearly more than half of the deaths due to oral cancer occur at an age of 65 years plus. This review of geriatric dentistry, which is dedicated to geriatric physicians, geriatric dentist and specialists in oral medicine, emphasizes on age-related oral changes in elderly patients and efforts to summarize the effects of aging in hard and soft oral tissues.

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