All health care professionals need to promote good oral hygiene in the older population

Summary:

Oral health is a vital part of overall health for all ages, but according to dental and medical experts, surveillance is vital for older people.

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Oral health is an essential part of overall health for all ages, but according to dental and medical experts, surveillance is vital for older people.

In a recent article published in the Journal of Society, the authors outline the difficulties that may arise due to poor oral health among older adults and state the role of each healthcare professional in work. to promote good oral hygiene in this population.

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“All healthcare experts should work to promote good oral hygiene for their older patients,” said Dr. Professor of medicine and family medicine at and the lead author in the revised section. They must “do an oral examination during an annual fitness visit, especially for those patients who are not receiving regular dental care.”

The need is apparent, the authors say. Data from the Center for Health Statistics indicate that the prevalence of cavities is greater than double that of older adults than younger adults. Periodontitis prevalence – a serious gum infection that causes damage to the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth – is also increasing with age. Up to 64% of older adults in the have periodontitis.

Periodontitis is associated with a variety of medical conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Patients with replacement heart valves and prosthetic joints should be very careful about their oral hygiene, according to the authors.It is well recognized that the treatment of teeth and their supporting structures can have bacteria present in the oral cavity that can be released into the bloodstream, which can cause infections in parts of the body far from the oral cavity, writes. they.

“Even brushing teeth for those with poor oral health can release bacteria into the bloodstream and these bacteria can cause joint infections and heart valve infections,” said. Without good oral hygiene, fluoride use and regular dental care, older adults are more likely to damage the oral cavity and to spread the infection into surrounding tissues. Tooth loss, for example, can affect a person’s ability to tap, which may lead to malnutrition. Chronic oral infection is a recognized risk factor for heart disease, and can also spread infection to artificial joints and endocardial implants.

Researchers noted that a large number of older adults were at greater risk for oral health problems, including patients with diabetes, dementia patients, and those in long-term care settings. Dementia patients – particularly those with high dementia – may neglect their oral health and may be reluctant to see dental hygiene.

And, many residents in nursing homes do not receive adequate dental care, despite the federal requirements for nursing homes to provide routine and emergency dental care. Nursing home facilities, the experts, should adopt risk assessment tools to identify patients who are at high risk of poor oral hygiene and educate staff on the importance of good oral hygiene and how to provide it.The experts recommend that all older adults should carry out biennial dental cleaning at a dentist and a biennial oral health assessment at their dentist.”Your mouth is a mirror on your body,” says a co-author of an article and an assistant professor of Craniofacial Sciences of Dental Medicine.

“This article is an excellent example of genuine inter professional co-operation which emphasizes the importance of all healthcare staff coming together to care for all our patients and particularly our geriatric population.”

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