Gerodontology - Status and New ChallengesReportar como inadecuado

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Acta stomatologica Croatica, Vol.36 No.3 September 2002. -

Changing demographics, which include a dramatic increase in the number of old and very old individuals have great implications for the health care professions. Further, the rates of edentulousness and tooth loss are rapidly declining. Consequently, the number of teeth at risk of developing unfavorable oral diseases is growing. As patients live longer with significant chronic systemic disease, and as more older people seek dental care, practitioners will increasingly encounter medically and functionally compromised individuals. Many recent studies have shown that systemic diseases, their treatments, and functional impairments have an impact on oral health and function and consequently on the quality of life of an older person. However, the interplay between general health and oral health is a two-way relationship. Oral infections, in particular periodontal disease, give rise to pathogens, which can become blood born or aspirated into the lungs, and which may cause serious, even life-threatening consequences. An understanding of the interplay

between general and oral health is imperative, if oral health care is to have a reasonable chance of success. One of the major challenges facing the dental profession today is maintaining oral health and function into the oldestold years, especially in those elderly, who do not age successfully. Age alone, however, should have no influence

on the decision to treat or not to treat.

Autor: P. Holm-Pedersen -



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