The September issue of Dentistry magazine reported on a study by the Royal College of Surgeons who found that at least 1.8 million people of pensioners are suffering with dental pain, oral sepsis or extensive decay in untreated teeth, and that this number could increase by 50% by 2040.
Professor Michael Escudier, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, commented that this is a terrible statistic, and that "Many of us know what it's like to have excrutiating tooth or gum pain. For older people the effects are even worse. It can be very isolating, making people reluctant to socialise with friends and family, and will have a significant impact on their quality of life."
The Faculty of Dental Surgery is calling for a joined-up approach to improve oral healthcare for older people. It is calling for health and social care professionals to receive training in oral health so that it can be viewed as part of older people's overall health.
Professor Escudier continued "As well as causing pain and making it difficult to speak, eat and take medication, poor oral health is linked to conditions in older people such as malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia. We need to work together to ensure improvements in oral healthcare for older people."