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GENEVA, Switzerland: The world’s population is ageing, and experts predict that, by 2050, 25% of the world’s population—two billion people—will be over 60 years old. A fifth of these—400 million—will be over 80 years old. Thus, FDI World Dental Federation recently released three practical guides that highlight advisory measures to maintain good oral health even into old age.
Epidemiological studies show that older people are particularly affected by poor oral health, which has negative consequences for their general health. Oral conditions such as dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth loss, dry mouth or oral cancer affect their chewing function and nutritional intake as well as their ability to interact socially.
FDI’s Oral Health for an Ageing Population project was launched in 2015 to strengthen the role of the oral health community in helping patients to achieve healthy longevity. The project pushes for oral health challenges to be addressed as part of broader disease policies and health promotion strategies for ageing populations.
FDI prioritises raising awareness of effective strategies and actions to manage the oral health needs of older adults. It details options for assessing and treating frail and dependent patients and promotes the importance of an interprofessional team in caring for them.
Global population ageing has a direct impact on daily dental practice
FDI recently released three practical guides that highlight a series of steps that dentists, elderly patients and their carers can follow in order to make good oral health a positive part of the ageing process. The guide for dentists outlines the tools needed to assess patients and their oral health levels in the context of their dependency. The guides for patients and carers provide tailored guidelines to help older patients take care of their oral health based on their level of dependency.