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An Expert Opinion from the European College of Gerodontology and the European Geriatric Medicine Society: European Policy Recommendations on Oral Health in Older Adults

Published inJournal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 66, no. 3, p. 609-613
Publication date2018
Abstract

This is an expert opinion paper on oral health policy recommendations for older adults in Europe, with particular focus on frail and care-dependent persons, that the European College of Gerodontology (ECG) and the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) Task and Finish Group on Gerodontology has developed. Oral health in older adults is often poor. Common oral diseases such as caries, periodontal disease, denture-related conditions, hyposalivation, and oral pre- and cancerous conditions may lead to tooth loss, pain, local and systemic infection, impaired oral function, and poor quality of life. Although the majority of oral diseases can be prevented or treated, oral problems in older adults remain prevalent and largely underdiagnosed, because frail persons often do not receive routine dental care, due to a number of barriers and misconceptions. These hindrances include person-related issues, lack of professional support, and lack of effective oral health policies. Three major areas for action are identified: education for healthcare providers, health policy action plans, and citizen empowerment and involvement. A list of defined competencies in geriatric oral health for non-dental healthcare providers is suggested, as well as an oral health promotion and disease prevention protocol for residents in institutional settings. Oral health assessment should be incorporated into general health assessments, oral health care should be integrated into public healthcare coverage, and access to dental care should be ensured.

Citation (ISO format)
KOSSIONI, Anastassia E et al. An Expert Opinion from the European College of Gerodontology and the European Geriatric Medicine Society: European Policy Recommendations on Oral Health in Older Adults. In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018, vol. 66, n° 3, p. 609–613. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15191
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