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Oral health is an important part of body health. Although the deterioration of oral health is not a natural result of aging,
the effects of this period on the organism also effects the tissues in the oral cavity.
The changes, that are thought to be related to aging, concerning oral health are:
• Decreased salivary flow rate (xserostomy)
• Increased number of tooth loss
• Atrophy of the oral mucosa
• Decreased tissue elasticity
• Jaw bone resorption
• Decreased sense of taste
• Periodontal disease
• Root surface caries
Multiple tooth loss usually occurs due to periodontal disease. Because of the high loss of teeth in elderly people,
existing remaining teeth in the mouth are very important for the retention of fixed and removable dentures.
Dental caries and periodontal diseases can cause infections in the oral cavity and
affect the general health of the elderly patients.
The dentist examining an elderly patient should always consider the following situations:
• Dental caries
• Gingival bleeding
• Mobile teeth
• Mucosal lesions, precancerous lesions
• Bad breath
• Temporo-mandibular joint disfunctions
• After the treatment of dental caries, high fluoride toothpastes, mouthwashes, fluoride vernier and
gels are recommended to reduce the acid production of plaque microorganisms.
• Moisturizing oral solutions, artificial saliva, sugar-free chewing gums and
lozenges are recommended to prevent dry mouth.
• Anti-fungal mouthwashes and lozenges can be recommended for oral candiasis (fungal formations in the mouth)
due to prosthetic use. Prostheses should be brushed carefully after meals and cleaning tablets should be used.
Maintaining oral hygiene is difficult but very important for the elderly people.
Patients should be educated and motivated for their oral healths.