Oral health problems more common among patients over 75 years of age
Oral health problems were more common in the older patient group (aged 75+), according to a recent study published in the International Dental Journal.
Some older people stop visiting the dentist when they get older. This study aims to identify the characteristics and oral health status of older people who do visit community dental practices.
In this exploratory cross-sectional study, the oral health of Dutch community-dwelling older people was assessed. A random sample of general dental practitioners and older people who visit the dental practice was drawn. The dentists were asked to prospectively select one older patient and describe this patient using a specially developed registration form; the patient was requested to complete a questionnaire. Data were described for 3 distinct groups of older people. Statistical measures for distribution and dispersion were used to describe the oral health of community-dwelling older patients in relation to age.
Results of the study are:
A total of 373 (40.4%) dentist registration forms and 372 (40.3%) patient questionnaires were returned. Data were available for 364 (39.4%) dentist-patient couples. Amongst the patients, 52.8% were female and most had a high socioeconomic status. About 65.7% had one or more problems related to general health, and 75.2% used medication. Regarding the overall oral health status, the average number of teeth was 20, 3.5% were edentulous. Oral health problems were more common in the older patient group (aged 75+), in whom frailty was also most common.
Thus, older people who visit community dental practices are still relatively healthy, non-frail, and highly educated. Even in this group, there is a turning point in both general and oral health from the age of 75.
Oral Health of Older Patients in Dental Practice: An Exploratory Study by Pieternella C.Bots-Vant Spijker et al. published in the International Dental Journal.
International Dental Journal, Pieternella C. Bots-Vant Spijkera Claar, D.van der Maarel-Wierinka, Jos M.G.A., Scholsad Josef, J.M.Bruers, Oral Health of Older Patients in Dental Practice, Oral Health of Older Patients, Community-dwelling, older people, Characteristics, Oral Health status and Dental visits
Dr. Shravani Dali has completed her BDS from Pravara institute of medical sciences, loni. Following which she extensively worked in the healthcare sector for 2+ years. She has been actively involved in writing blogs in field of health and wellness. Currently she is pursuing her Masters of public health-health administration from Tata institute of social sciences. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.