Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 1999 , Vol 2, Issue 1
Hacettepe Üniversitesi Diş Hekimliği Fakültesi Periodontoloji Anabilim Dalı- ANKARA Poor oral health is not a result of normal aging, but rather reflects systemic disease, use of medications, inadequate nutrition, or lack of preventive care. The physicians usually examine elderly patients much more often than do the dentists and thus have an important role in maintenance of good oral health status. The oral changes that are generally thought to be associated with aging include tooth loss, decrease in salivary flow, atrophy of the oral mucosa and the musculature, and loss of taste acuity. Periodontal disease is a more potent factor than root caries in causing tooth loss in aged dentitions. A substantial portion of the elderly population use removable oral prostheses. These prostheses have the potential to alter mucosal morphology and integrity. AH of the factors mentioned above finally cause problems in masticatory function and thus affect nutritional status in old subjects. Keywords : elderly, oral status, teeth