Dental Health Day: More and more older people have healthy teeth
Today is the "Dental Health Day". The motto this year is "Healthy starts in the mouth - more enjoyment with 65 plus". Various events and lectures are devoted to the dental health of elderly people.
The demographic change in Germany shows that the "Generation 65plus" has never enjoyed better health in Germany than is the case today. "Of course, this increase also has an impact on the disease process in the population," said Prof. Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the German Dental Association, on the introduction to this year's topic of the Dental Health Day 2012 at the central press conference in Berlin.
This is evident in the mouth. “The average oral health of people over 65 has improved significantly in recent years. The number of total prosthesis wearers has decreased in recent years, at the same time, the elderly have more and more of their own teeth, ”reports the Austrian dentist.
Loss of teeth in old age can be avoided
"A denture can meet important aesthetic and functional requirements today," said the scientific adviser, Prof. Ina Nitschke, President of the German Society for Geriatric Dentistry, "and an aged face, such as that which occurs when teeth are lost, can be avoided today. That is one of the many achievements of modern dentistry that previous generations would envy us for. ”
A special focus must therefore continue to be placed on oral hygiene and regular checks at the dentist so that it stays that way. Because the older people get, the more susceptible teeth are to typical dental diseases. “Inflammation of the tooth bed, periodontitis, therefore occurs frequently in older people and can lead to tooth loss. We also observe a higher risk of special forms of caries, the secondary and root caries, ”explains Dr. Helmut Stein, CEO of the Rhineland-Palatinate Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists. Consistent prophylaxis, which consists of continuous hygiene in the interdental spaces, as well as regular visits to the dentist, can counteract diseases in the mouth. The routine examination should also be carried out every six months without symptoms. Patients who already have dentures should clean them every day. "This prevents bacterial deposits," said the dentist.
Drink enough every day to activate salivation
In addition to daily tooth cleaning and care, it is particularly important to drink regularly and sufficiently. Older people in particular experience less thirst with increasing age and are therefore at risk of internal dehydration. Adequate hydration is important to relieve symptoms such as "dry mouth". Because in old age not only the thirst but also the flow of saliva subsides. Both in combination have a detrimental effect on oral hygiene because the saliva is responsible for the natural cleaning of the teeth and for the neutralization of harmful acids. Saliva also repairs broken tooth enamel. Every person should therefore drink at least two to three liters of liquid. Still water and tea without sugar are best suited, according to the experts.
Since 1991, the Germany-wide "Dental Health Day" has been held every year on September 25th. Dentists and nutrition experts undertake numerous information events, events and seminars for health insurance companies, state working groups and health authorities throughout Germany. Further information on the events can be found on the campaign website. (sb)
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