Literature Review
Volume 17 Issue 8 - 2018
Would in Home Oral Health Services Benefit Elderly Oral Health Status
Billie Lunt
Professor, AS Dental Hygiene, NHTI, Concord’s Community College, University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
*Corresponding Author: Billie Lunt, Professor, AS Dental Hygiene, NHTI, Concord’s Community College, University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA.
Received: January 23, 2018; Published: July 10, 2018
Citation: Billie Lunt. “Would in Home Oral Health Services Benefit Elderly Oral Health Status”. EC Dental Science 17.8 (2018): 1245-1257.
Thanks to the improvements of modern medicine coupled with increased knowledge of healthy lifestyle habits, our population is aging at a rapid pace. We are living longer and spending a greater number of years living at home than ever before. Many chronic illnesses and diseases that were once considered terminal have become managed by medication and surgical procedures. Quality of life has been significantly increased for many members of this cohort as a result of these advanced treatment options.
This literature review reveals that many older adult patients take multiple medications that can deplete the health of the dentition rather rapidly. There is often dexterity limitations and cognitive decline that can impede on self-care. In addition, many have challenges with mobility and transportation that can limit the access to quality dental care. The needs are greater than the systems that we currently have to meet those needs. This research takes a closer look at the aging population overall health needs, oral health needs, and current barriers that exist to care for this segment of the population.
Oral health remains an area of concern for this aging population. Research has made strong connections between oral health and systemic well-being. Older adults that are able to maintain a stable dentition have increased quality of life in all aspects. The understanding of the bidirectional relationship that occurs between the oral cavity and the systems of the body create a sense of urgency to create policy and procedures within our communities that address the needs of our older adults. Collaboration between healthcare providers and the design of teams that care for this population that includes dental professionals may be considered. Healthcare and dental professionals must work together to develop ways to meet the needs of this population in a way that is effective.
Keywords: Oral Health Services; Oral Health Status; Quality of Life
Copyright: © 2018 Billie Lunt. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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