What do you mean by Geriatric Dentistry?

This is the field of dentistry where older adults are provided dental care. These include diagnosis, prevention, management and treatment of issues that associate with age-related diseases.
The mouth can be considered as the ‘mirror of overall health’. Older people are more vulnerable to oral conditions or diseases due to the increase in chronic conditions and physical or mental disabilities.

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Geriatric Patient The aged or the elderly can be classified according to 3 age groups:

  • Young-old: are between 65-74 years
  • Middle-old: are between 75-84 years
  • Oldest-old: are those older than 85

Oral Health Problems in Aged People

The common oral conditions that affect the life of Geriatric patients are:

    • Darkened Teeth:
      This is usually caused by the changes in the bone-like tissue called dentin that lies under the tooth enamel. These changes might have been caused by the continual consumption of stain-causing foods and beverages. The thinning outer enamel layer can also cause this leading to the dark-yellow dentin to show through.
    • Root Decay: Decay-causing acids can be a reason for the decay of the root. The tooth roots are exposed as the gum recedes from the tooth. As roots don’t have enamel to protect them, they are more vulnerable to decay compared to the crown of the tooth.
  • Gum Disease: This is usually caused by plaque, using tobacco products, ill-fitting bridges and dentures, poor diets and diseases like anaemia, cancer and diabetes.