Citation Information :
Khanagar SB, Al-Ehaideb A, Shivanna MM, Ul Haq I, Al Kheraif AA, Naik S, Maganur P, Vishwanathaiah S. Age-related Oral Changes and Their Impact on Oral Health-related Quality of Life among Frail Elderly Population: A Review. J Contemp Dent Pract 2020; 21 (11):1298-1303.
Background: In the present-day world, the aging elderly across the world are living longer. Most people are expected to live well into their sixties and even beyond. The increasing life expectancy of the aging population could be due to increased availability of healthcare facilities and improved quality care provided by them. Alongside increasing life expectancy, the individual\'s quality of life and also his/her oral health-related quality of life (OHR-QoL) are expected to improve so that they can enjoy their aging life.
Aim and objective: The aim of this review article is to highlight aging-related oral health changes and their impact on the individual\'s quality of life.
Review results: Age-related oral changes are seen in the tooth structure making the enamel more brittle resulting in severe attrition. Autoimmune diseases like Sjogren\'s syndrome are followed by decrease in the salivary gland function and the reason is unknown, and medications like antihypertensive and analgesics are associated with the decrease in salivary flow, which increases the patient\'s risk of developing dental caries, and also make the oral tissues more prone to mucosal infections. Edentulism has also been directly related to masticatory problems and nutritional problems. The studies reported on OHR-QoL of these frail elderly populations have shown lower scores.
Conclusion: It is important for health professionals, especially those dealing with these frail elderly populations, to have a better understanding of their dental needs and also understand the physiologic changes undergone by them. The health professionals should understand and comprehend the oral health challenges these vulnerable people face.
Clinical significance: Healthcare providers should conduct periodic oral examinations along with general examination and should avoid prescribing medications that have xerostomia as a side effect. The elderly individuals should be encouraged to keep their mouth moist using water or artificial saliva and maintain good oral and denture hygiene.
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