Arifa Sultana from CB12 asks: “What is Healthy Ageing and how does it affect oral health?”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), healthy ageing is “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.” It is about enabling people to be and do what they have reason to value to: meet their basic needs; learn, grow and make decisions, be mobile, build and maintain relationships and contribute to society .
Good oral health is an essential component of a healthy, active life as social participation, communication and diet can all be negatively affected when oral health is impaired. Consequently, it is important to recognise the needs of the older people at an early enough stage to manage their health and care for them effectively.
Research reveals that 71 per cent of men and women over 65 report a long-standing illness, the most common of which are musculoskeletal, heart and circulatory diseases. Arthritis is the most prevalent chronic disease in this age group overall, but also 37 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women over the age of 65 report at least one functional limitation be it with sight, hearing, communication, walking or using stairs .3 An increasing number of people worldwide are also developing diabetes  and over the last two decades we have seen more evidence to suggest that diabetes can heighten the chances of developing periodontal disease [3,4] , which in turn, can adversely impact glycaemic control [5,6]. ,
As people increase in age, so too does the amount of medications they need to take. The effects of some systemic diseases and commonly prescribed medications can reduce saliva production, cause dry mouth (or xerostomia), which can adversely affect oral health and contribute to a number of health problems . Xerostomia can affect dietary habits and nutritional status, speech, taste, tolerance to dental devices and increase the risk of oral infection, dental caries, periodontal disease and tooth loss. In addition, lack of saliva means that food and debris is not broken down or washed away efficiently resulting in unpleasant smelling breath, a common condition in older adults.
Another term frequently associated with old age is frailty, which is defined as the presence of at least three of the following: low grip strength, low energy, slowed walking speed, low physical activity, and/or unintentional weight loss . A study conducted at the end of 2017 indicates that oral health problems are associated with the physical frailty and furthermore, it suggests that dry mouth or an accumulation of oral health problems could be powerful makers and predictors of frailty in older people .
With all this evidence to indicate the potential contribution that poor oral health can have on patients as they age, dental professionals have a significant role to play by motivating patients to enhance their home oral health care routine. One of the ways this can be achieved is by recommending CB12 mouthwash. Currently only 31% of adults in the UK use a mouthwash as part of their daily routine , but when used alongside tooth brushing and interdental cleaning, CB12 can help to rinse away food debris and bacteria, inhibit the formation of biofilm and prevent unpleasant smelling breath. This is an easy way for patients to make an improvement to their routine, yet it is a very effective solution to accomplish efficient, preventive care at home.
With good oral hygiene education and encouragement dental professionals can support the ‘healthy ageing’ process and help patients to lead long and happy, lives.
Author: Arifa Sultana is OTC Product Manager, Marketing Department,Mylan.
For more information about CB12 and how it could benefit your patients, please visit www.cb12.co.uk
1] World Health Organisation. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/ [Accessed 23rdth January 2018] World Health Organisation (WHO) Ageing and life-course. What is healthy ageing? http://www.who.int/ageing/healthy-ageing/en/ [Accessed 23rd January 2018]
2] World Health Organisation. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/ [Accessed 23rd January 2018]
3] Dr. Guglielmo Campus et al. Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Case-Control Study
Journal of Periodontology 2005, 76(3) 418-425. http://www.joponline.org/doi/abs/10.1902/jop.2005.76.3.418 [Accessed 23rd January 2018]
4] Ira B Lamster et al. The relationship between oral health and diabetes mellitus. The Journal of the American Dental Association. 2008, 139, Sup 5,19S-24S. http://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(14)63883-6/fulltext [Accessed 23rd January 2018]
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7] Mustafa Jamel Abdullah. Prevalence of xerostomia in patients attending Shorish dental speciality in Sulaimani city. J Clin Exp Dent 2015 Feb; 7(1): e45–e53.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4368017/ [Accessed 26th January 2015]
8] Fried LP et al. Frailty in older adults: evidence of a phenotype. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Mar;56(3):M146-56. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11253156 [Accessed 23rd January 2018]
9] Sheena E Ramsay et al. Influence of Poor Oral Health on Physical Frailty: A Population-Based Cohort Study of Older British Men. Clinical investigation. 2017 J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/jgs.15175 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.15175/full [Accessed 23rd January 2018]
10]Adult Dental Health Survey 2009. http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB01086/adul-dent-heal-surv-summ-them-exec-2009-rep2.pdf [Accessed 23rd January 2018]
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