Geriatric Dentistry, Aging and Palliative Care

Geriatric dentistry deals with the dental care to older adults which involves diagnosing, preventing, managing and treating of problems associated with age related diseases. The mouth is cited as a mirror of overall health, strengthen that oral health is an essential part of general health. A number of physiological changes take place to the geriatric population with age. Some of them include gastrointestinal, renal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune systems often decrease in efficiency, and these impacts upon the entire body, including oral health. The most common oral changes in the aged people are tooth loss, dental caries, periodontitis, dry mouth and oral cancer. People who have lost their teeth partially or completely are referred to as edentulous however who have not lost teeth is referred to as dentate. Palliative care comes into play when the patient’s disease is not reacting to the treatment. It deals with patients at the final stage of the disease where the patients disease is not responding to the the treatment. Dental expression in palliative care may be defined as the increased dental services with a goal of providing prominent achievable oral care to patients who are in critical condition, where oral lesions greatly impact on quality of remaining life of patients, also the initiation and progression of oral lesions may be related to direct or indirect succession of disease, its treatment or both. Maintaining proper oral hygiene will be a difficult task for sick and critical condition patients, hence the main goal of dentist in palliative team should focus on oral comfort which comprise maintenance of oral hygiene, wipe out painful conditions like mucositis, infectious diseases, and ulcerative conditions of oral cavity.

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