What is old age and what are the oral health issues?
Diseases of the teeth and tooth loss is not inevitable consequence of ageing, but as almost universal, and both are irreversible. In the end, if a person lives long enough, disability on the basis of functional disorders in the loss of teeth will do its work, to a greater or lesser extent. As age increases, the focus of dental care is often away from the prevention and resolution of each patient's teeth, to broader strategy aimed at preventing a more General condition: functional limitations and dental disability that typically occur as a result of loss of teeth. preventive dentistry for older people, whether they are aimed at the individual and population, as a rule, is best seen from this point of view. Prevent or minimize this disability provides for primary prevention (preventing disease, for example by fluorine or use of oral hygiene), secondary prevention (prevention of disease progression, for example, through early detection) or tertiary prevention (prevention of impairment and disability due to disease, for example, strategy planning of treatment and prosthetics of the teeth).
The share of the population of older persons is increasing throughout the world. As we shall see, the increase in the number of older people who are timing is also growing, at least in the most developed countries of the world. In the medium term this will add to many dental care for many older people.
Some diseases and management of problems such as dry mouth and root caries, are quite specific to older people, so there should be specific preventive approaches, adapted in accordance with these. However, many differences between elderly and the rest of the population, just in the degree, and the broad strategies available for the prevention of such diseases are similar to those used for any adult at risk. That is very different to the elderly, and the context in which prevention is happening. Disease prevention is an important step, by which oral disability can be prevented, but this is not the only factor. Complex issues will often ask about the most effective use of resources, because of the complexity (and cost) care there is a potential for growth, while the benefits may be curtailed. Other peripheral issues can determine which prevention strategies are most appropriate, and how effective they are. These include individual variation in the risk of dental diseases and restrictions on access to care in the medical, social or economic constraints. Prevention of disease in each specific case, it is rarely an appropriate philosophy and the concept of priority of different types of social assistance, is becoming more important with increasing age.
And one more thing. Just as there is no age at which someone was officially elderly, any change in the emphasis of dental care not suddenly occurring in a specific stage of life, but gradually and dictated by individual considerations. One of the definitions of older someone and ten years older than yourself (this definition is particularly prevalent among of dental students, grandparents). Old age can last a long time. The normal age of retirement in the early sixties and in most Western countries, the average life expectancy in women older than 80 years, while many people to live much longer. With increasing age, and life expectancy. Prevention of dental disability for the rest of life. Our goal should be to increase the mouth period to match the duration of life of our patients.