Quintessence Int 38 (2007), No. 9 31. Aug. 2007
Changing demographics and improved medical management of disease are placing increasing demands on dental providers for increased knowledge of oral manifestations of systemic disease and their dental management. The geriatric population is the most rapidly growing segment of the population and will account for 23% of the US population by 2040. These patients have specific oral changes in their teeth, periodontium, oral mucosa, salivary glands, and oral motor and sensory function related to their increasing age. In addition, these patients have complex medical disorders that affect the provision of dental care. Cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, neurologic, and pulmonary diseases represent some common medical conditions that have significant implications on how dental care is provided to geriatric patients. This article reviews age-related oral changes in older adults and provides a simple and efficient approach to the successful management of the geriatric patient.
Keywords: aging, decision making, dental care, diagnosing oral problems, geriatrics, oral health, oral medicine