Oral health plays a pivotal role in general health, especially in older people. Oral diseases may affect the development of systemic conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension. The most important oral health conditions that have been recorded in dental literature for older population include tooth loss, dental caries, periodontal diseases, xerostomia (dry mouth) and oral cancer. Edentulism influences social life, either causing aesthetic problems or affecting functional abilities, such as speaking, chewing and eating. Dental caries in older people is similar to that in people in their thirties. Socio-economic status and living area play a key role in the development of dental caries. In addition, the accumulation of several risk factors, such as plaque or systemic diseases, acts synergistically in the onset of periodontal disease in seniors. Furthermore, older people, mainly due to their medications, exhibit a reduced amount of saliva. Xerostomia causes difficulties in chewing, speaking and swallowing, and it has a substantial impact on older people’s lives. The prevalence of oral cancer is 1-10 per 100,000 patients, and several factors (smoking, alcohol, education, economic status) play crucial role. Limited data exists today that evaluates oral health conditions of seniors in the Balkan countries. Aging and socio-economic status of seniors in the Balkans are significantly associated with oral health problems.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
1. Berkey D Berg R. Geriatric oral health issues in the United States. Int Dent J 2001; 51:254-264.
2. Persson RE Hollender LG Powell LV MacEntee MI Wyatt CCL Kiyak HA Persson GR. Assessment of periodontal conditions and systemic disease in older subjects. I. Focus on osteoporosis. J Clin Periodontol 2002; 29:796-802.
3. British Geriatrics Society. Geriatric Medicine Defined. [online] Available at: http://www.bgs.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=981:geriatricsdefined&catid=1:administration (accessed on March 25th 2015).
4. United Nations. World population Ageing 2013. Economic and social affairs. [online] New York: United Nations. Available at: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/ageing/WorldPopulationAgeing2013.pdf (Accessed March 25th 2015).
5. Petersen PE Yamamoto T. Improving the oral health of older people: the approach of the WHO Global Oral Health Programme. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2005; 33:81-92.
6. World health organization. Oral health fact sheet No 318. 2012 Apr; Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs318/en/index.html (Accessed on March 23rd 2015).
7. Nowjack-Raymer RE Sheiham A. Association of edentulism and diet and nutrition in US adults. J Dent Res 2003; 82:123-126.
8. Idowu AT Handelman SL Graser GN. Effect of denture stability retention and tooth form on masticatory function in the elderly. Gerodontics 1987; 3:161-164.
9. Esan TA Olusile AO Akeredolu PA Esan AO. Socio-demographic factors and edentulism: The Nigerian experience. BMC Oral Health 2004; 4:3.
10. Griffin SO Griffin PM Swann JL Zlobin N. Estimating rates of new root caries in older adults. J Dent Res 2004; 83:634-638.
11. Broadbent JM Thomson WM Poulton R. Trajectory patterns of dental caries experience in the permanent dentition to the fourth decade of life. J Dent Res 2008; 87:69-72.
12. Quinteros ME Cáceres DD Soto A Mariño RJ Giacaman RA. Caries experience and use of dental services in rural and urban adults and older adults from central Chile. Int Dent J 2014; 64:260-268.
13. Page RC. Periodontal diseases in the elderly: a critical evaluation of current information. Gerodontology 1984; 1:63-70.
14. Eke PI Dye BA Wei L Thornton-Evans GO Genco RJ (CDC Periodontal Disease Surveillance workgroup). Prevalence of periodontitis in adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J Dent Res 2012; 91:914-920.
15. Orellana MF Lagravere MO Boychuk DG Major PW Flores-Mir C. Prevalence of xerostomia in population-based samples: a systematic review. J Public Health Dent 2006; 66:152-158.
16. Ship JA Pillemer SR Baum BJ. Xerostomia and the geriatric patient. J Am Geriatr Soc 2002; 50:535-543.
17. Napeñas JJ Brennan MT Fox PC. Diagnosis and treatment of xerostomia (dry mouth). Odontology 2009; 97:76-83.
18. Glick M Johnson NW. Oral and oropharyngeal cancer: what are the next steps? J Am Dent Assoc 2011; 142:892-894.
19. Johnson NW Warnakulasuriya KA. Epidemiology and aetiology of oral cancer in the United Kingdom. Community Dent Health 1993; 10 (Suppl 1):13-29.
20. Nalçaci R Erdemir EO Baran I. Evaluation of the oral health status of the people aged 65 years and over living in near rural district of Middle Anatolia Turkey. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2007; 45:55-64.
21. Kossioni AE Kossionis GE Polychronopoulou A. Oral health status of elderly hospitalised psychiatric patients. Gerodontology 2012; 29:272-283.
22. Kossioni AE Kossionis GE Polychronopoulou A. Self-reported oral complaints in older mentally ill patients. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2013; 13:358-364.
23. Baderca F Vincze D Balica N Solovan C. Mucosal melanomas in the elderly: challenging cases and review of the literature. Clin Interv Aging 2014; 9:929-937.
24. Triantos D. Intra-oral findings and general health conditions among institutionalized and non-institutionalized elderly in Greece. J Oral Pathol Med 2005; 34:577-582.
25. Kossioni AE Karkazis HC. Socio-medical condition and oral functional status in an older institutionalised population. Gerodontology 1999; 16:21-28.
26. Kossioni AE Kossionis GE Polychronopoulou A. Variation in oral health parameters between older people with and without mental disorders. Spec Care Dentist 2013; 33:232-238.
27. Erić J Stančić I Sojić LT Jelenković Popovac A Tsakos G. Validity and reliability of the Oral Impacts on Daily Performance (OIDP) scale in the elderly population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Gerodontology 2012; 29:e902-908.
28. Nazliel HE Hersek N Ozbek M Karaagaoglu E. Oral health status in a group of the elderly population residing at home. Gerodontology 2012; 29:e761-767.
29. Doğan BG Gökalp S. Tooth loss and edentulism in the Turkish elderly. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2012; 54:e162-166.
30. Namal N Can G Vehid S Koksal S Kaypmaz A. Dental health status and risk factors for dental caries in adults in Istanbul Turkey. East Mediter Health J 2008; 14:110-118.
31. Özçaka Ö Becerik S Bıçakcı N Kiyak AH. Periodontal disease and systemic diseases in an older population. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2014; 59:474-479.
32. Poverty social exclusion and health systems in the WHO European Region. Copenhagen WHO Regional Office for Europe 2010.
33. Kossioni A Bellou O. Eating habits in older people in Greece: The role of age dental status and chewing difficulties. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2001; 52:197-201.
34. Anastassiadou V Heath MR. Food choices and eating difficulty among elderly edentate patients in Greece. Gerodontology 2002; 19:17-24.