Oral Health Topics: Aging and Dental Health
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- The demographic of older adults (i.e., 65 years of age and older) is
growing and likely will be an increasingly large part of dental practice in
the coming years.
- Although better than in years past, the typical aging patient’s baseline
health state can be complicated by comorbid conditions (e.g., hypertension,
diabetes mellitus) and physiologic changes associated with aging.
- Older adults may regularly use several prescription and/or
over-the-counter medications, making them more vulnerable to medication
errors, drug interactions or adverse drug reactions.
- Potential physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments associated with
aging may make home oral health care and patient education/communications
- Dental conditions associated with aging include dry mouth (xerostomia),
root and coronal caries, and periodontitis; patients may show increased
sensitivity to drugs used in dentistry, including local anesthetics and