As outlined by Statistics Canada, the number of elderly Canadians is increasing from a populace that previously has greater than 14% of its populace over the age of 65. Over the next twenty years, the percentage of elderly Canadians over the age of 65 is expected to reach 23 to 25% of the population. With the lifespan of the common Canadian increasing, it is important that the dental profession successfully serves the requirements of a diverse aging populace by recognizing the unique dentistry and medicinal needs of elder citizens.
Geriatric dentistry may be defined as the delivery of oral health care to older adults, which includes the diagnosis, prevention, and handling of conditions associated with growing older and age-related diseases. Geriatric oral health focuses on the oral health of elderly people, who commonly have more considerable health diseases and are taking multiple medicinal drugs. Additionally, they may have certain socioeconomic and psychological conditions that necessitate experienced dental management. A key premise of geriatric oral health is that older adults sometimes go through problems of tooth corrosion and gingival (gum) diseases that vary from signs or symptoms that younger patients encounter. Oral health treatments for seniors are therefore geared to any psychological or physical restrictions they might have.
Several of the limitations to getting proper or adequate care for seniors may consist of: inadequate finances, insufficient transportation or lack of ability to travel, lack of awareness or education, might not be able to accept some services as a result of poor overall health, substandard oral cleanliness, and there are not a lot of dentists who are outfitted to deal with geriatric dental concerns.
There are also a number of limits that dentists may experience concerning oral health care issues with the elderly as oral health care professionals are not ordinarily qualified with the right sort of understanding, practical skills, or attitudes required to handle elderly patients. Elderly individuals may be placed into classifications of total health ranging from good overall fitness, disabled, weak, cognitively impaired, or functionally reliant which may influence their social, interpersonal, and psychological behaviours. Seniors will also have numerous pharmacological drug treatments that can set additional limitations on the care they receive and cognitive issues and physical disabilities can hinder their capability to comply with information and treatment.
Periodontal Ailments - Periodontitis and gingivitis are major pathenogenic infections in the periodontal tissues that when left untreated, can lead to the loss of teeth. Seniors who deal with increased risk of periodontal disease are persons with poor immune systems, insufficient dietary consumption, inability to remove plaque, pre-existing ailments like Alzheimer's, and drinking and smoking behaviors. Oral health research has revealed a dramatic causal association between periodontal disease and several systemic illnesses including arthritis, respiratory disease, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, and diabetes.
Tooth Caries - Tooth caries are typically caused by acid-producing bacterias that cause injury to the teeth in the presence of sugar compounds. The issues leading to oral decay in seniors involve any cognitive or physical restrictions that may prevent proper dental hygiene care, the use of medicines, low amounts of salivary flow, compromised immune systems, decline of the gums, and meager funds.
Weak Salivary Flow - There is a natural propensity as people age towards a reduction in salivary flow which can be caused by a pre-existing medical condition (heart disease), menopause, side effects of prescription drugs, dehydration, eating disorders, and salivary gland infections. Saliva has a lot of functions that are needed to maintain proper equilibrium within the mouth, thusly reducing cases of periodontal disease and tooth caries. Saliva plays a role in swallowing food, cleansing and lubricating of the mouth, buffering bacterial acids, and has antimicrobial components.
Oral treatments geared towards the treatment of dry mouth, tooth corrosion, and periodontal disease may play an essential function in improving the overall health of Canada's Seniors and minimize the obstacles that might occur in the form of fungal infections, ulcers, oral cancers, papillary hyperplasia, and denture stomatitis.