The geriatric dentistry concerned with the prevention and resolution of age-specific needs and problems. As healthy and pain-free aging is the goal.

Right to Health

“All people have a right to oral health. This health-enhancing overall concepts are to be created, covering the whole life and all areas, but at least the parts of life, in which the ownership is reduced or the strength and autonomy of the individual subside. “Is the key demand of the Association for geriatric dentistry ( geriatric dentistry) of the Austrian Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery .

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Increasing importance

The geriatric dentistry is of increasing importance, since people are living longer. Research is being conducted in order to provide the best possible dental care to seniors: from prevention to proper oral hygiene to optimal dental and dentures. It’s not just the medical expertise of the dentists, but also to the understanding of the needs of older, often frail patients. Since 2008, at the University of Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Graz special courses in this field (geriatric dentistry curriculum), in which theory and practice is taught. From the Graz 1997, the first mobile dental clinic prevention project in Austria has started. Twice a year, patients are visited by dentists in the nursing homes to perform a professional cleaning of teeth and dentures. People are self-motivated for oral hygiene and advise the nursing staff to improve the quality of life of residents. Approximately one quarter of the patient is unable to carry out the oral care itself.

Possible age-related complaints

In elderly people frequently occur atrophy and changes in the oral mucosa and tongue. The oral flora is changed by the loss of teeth. On the prostheses of denture plaque may form (plaque) come. Diminished salivary flow and the side effects of certain medications cause dry mouth (xerostomia). Fungal infections can also be a problem, as with the Hefepilzart Candida albicans, which in turn can lead to gum inflammation.

Influencing the general health

That of “bad teeth” may assume many diseases, has already spread. Is scientifically proven that gum disease (periodontitis), the risk of coronary heart disease and a significantly increased stroke. There are significant correlations between the insulin adjustment in type 1 diabetes with periodontal disease, and between oral hygiene and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Missing teeth has pain or is inappropriate prostheses, this makes it difficult to eat. This can lead to malnutrition and malnutrition.

Tips:

¤Regular oral hygiene is important at any age!
¤Avoid dry mouth coffee and tea.
¤Tea tree oil (diluted) for mouthwash is effective against bacteria and fungi.
¤Alcohol-containing mouth rinses are not recommended.
¤Thickened toothbrush handles make it easy to have to clean.