Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners asks, “Can maintaining good oral health help older adults prevent a variety of health problems and disabilities?

In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers explored this connection. To do so, they examined longitudinal, retrospective data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) project.

In their study, the research team examined information from more than 60,000 community-dwelling people aged 65 and older who did not meet the criteria for needing long-term care.

The participants were given questionnaires to complete. They answered a number of questions, including providing information about:

  • How many teeth they had
  • Their medical and mental health history
  • How many falls they had over the last year
  • Whether they smoked or drank alcohol
  • Their body weight
  • How well they were able to perform common activities of daily life

The researchers learned older adults who have significant tooth loss are less functional when compared with people who lose fewer teeth. The research team suggested that it is essential that older adults receive the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care practices, and that they receive adequate dental care.

As we age our ability to maintain ideal oral health is diminished and basic home care is often lacking” says Dr. Johnson, “Thus, I recommend an every-three-month regimen for my geriatric patients. We identify problems earlier and are able to maintain better gum health’ which limits tooth loss”.

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Original article: www.sciencedaily.com

Artwork: www.yourdentalcare.co.za