Oral health status in geriatric rehabilitation
The aim of this study was to
compare the oral health status among patients at a geriatric
rehabilitation ward using an oral assessment guide on admission and at
discharge. On admission, oral health problems were assessed in 86% of
the patients. The corresponding figure at discharge was 51%. The
frequency of the problems was significantly lower at discharge than on
admission. Recommended oral health procedures were given when
problems related to saliva, mucous membranes, gums and teeth/dentures
were assessed. This study demonstrated that the oral health improved
during the hospital stay. P Anderson
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older adults are affected by ongoing periodontal disease, root caries
and calcified pulps. These brittle teeth can fracture which
causing an increase in tooth loss. Medically compromised older
adults have a higher degree of difficulty in maintaining a healthy
The most common physical
problem that affects older Americans is arthritis.
Middle-aged Adults and Senior Having
With the advent of the
electric toothbrush arthritic compromised people have a wider array of toothbrush
handles to choose from. This makes cleaning easier, less
frustrating and more efficient. Most electric brushes have timers
to make sure you brush for two minutes. Regular toothbrush handles
are difficult to grip:
Sonicare is easy to hold.
Flossing , which is often
nonexistent in this age group is needed in order to break plaque and debris
from between the teeth. New electric flosser like the Auto
Flosser or Waterpik's Aquaflossers help achieve better oral health.
Those over 65 take at least
one to 10 pills a day which can cause dry mouth
and decrease in salivary flow which decreases the cleaning action of
saliva leading to increased risk for decay and gum disease.
Based on these facts the
older generation can not lump themselves into the group that needs only
a "cleaning" once or twice a
year! This can be detrimental to your overall health and is a
disservice to yourself.
individuals taking numerous medications may need monthly appointments as
well as senior who continue to use
Fluoride gels and rinses are useful,
they have significantly reduced plaque levels and protected root surface
from root caries, a growing problem for older Americans.
The fastest growing segment
of our populations is people within the 85-100 year old age
bracket. Don't be one who says along with Eubie Blake "If
I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care
Source: Geriatric Hygiene: It's Not All Black and
White. Dr. Shapira. Dentistry Today March 2001 Pg 53-59.
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February 06, 2008
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