Oral health in frail elderly

Albert Hoeksema

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Ageing points towards increasing health problems and rising costs for the society. One of these health problems is the deteriorating oral health in care dependent elderly. The latter is related to the high need for care on many levels in these elderly. The lack of attention for oral care can be considered a hidden health hazard as it has been shown that dental awareness and oral health significantly contribute to general health and quality of life (QoL). Therefore, the general aim of this PhD study was to assess oral status and oral health of frail community living and indwelling elderly (>75 years) as well as to assess its impact on general health, frailty and QoL. In elderly we see that they do not prioritize oral health, we have seen is that oral health in frail elderly in average is bad. Dental visits are skipped as well as the visits to the oral hygienist. A broad numeration of dental problems, like caries, broken teeth and gum disease is measured in frail elderly with remaining teeth. In the group of edentulous elderly the fitting of prosthesis is regularly poor to bad and they report more oral complaints. Frailty levels in edentulous people are higher compared to elderly with their own teeth. When elderly are classified in subgroups of frailty like: robust, frail and complex care needs , the elderly with their own teeth and elderly with an overdenture on implants are more robust and score a higher QoL. Edentulous elderly score a higher rate of frailty and use more medication. Resuming, to our opinion all elderly above the arbitrary age of 75 years should be screened on a regular basis, preferably once a year, for a check of their general health and oral health, their use of medicines and their frailty status. The result of this screening should underlie the specific oral care needs for a particular patient, preferably provided by general dentists and oral hygienists.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Vissink, Arjan, Supervisor
    • Raghoebar, Gerry, Supervisor
    • Meijer, Henny, Supervisor
    • Visser, Anita, Co-supervisor
    Award date14-Dec-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-9322-2
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9331-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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