Expert: Low demand for dentures from elderly causes poor oral health

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Elderly population must be seen as a successful result of development programs such as nutrition, health, clean drinking water and sanitation which are very important in reducing serious infections.

However, the rapid growth of the elderly population also poses various challenges, such as the increasing number of sufferers of degenerative diseases including hypertension, heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The systemic diseases such as diabetes affect many aspects of a person’s health. Related to dental health, the severity of periodontal disease has the potential to worsen the quality of life of the elderly.

Diabetes mellitus is proven to increase the risk of periodontitis, and periodontal inflammation which will negatively impact blood sugar control. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammation, caused by specific microorganisms or certain groups of microorganisms on dental plaque characterized by damage to the tooth supporting structure (periodontal ligament and alveolar bone).

“This disease has a high prevalence, i.e. severe periodontitis occurs in 10-15% of adults,” said Dr. Titiek Berniyanti, drg., M. Kes, a lecturer of Faculty of Dental Medicine (FKG) UNAIR.

Severe periodontitis, said Titiek, can cause shaky tooth and tooth loss. Tooth loss should ideally be replaced to anticipate some serious consequences. The most obvious effect is aesthetics, but the impact of tooth migration and rotation, inefficiency in chewing, temporomandibular joint disorders, and speech disorders can also affect function and health.

In Titiek’s study “Overview of Dentures’ Demand to Support the Improvement of Life Quality of the Elderly at High-Level Life Expectancy in Indonesia” showed that the requests to make elderly dentures are low.

“This research is intended to study the demand of dentures in the elderly group so that future trends in health and management strategies can be improved,” she explained.

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 80 parents with a multistage random sampling with a descriptive analytic research design. The instrument of this study was a validated questionnaire about the demand of dentures. Data analysis method used in Titiek’s research is descriptive method.

The result of this study, most of the participants around 45 people showed a low level demand of dentures which was 56.2 percent, while the remaining 35 people demanded for dentures which was 43.8% percent.

Titiek’s research concluded that low demand of dentures can cause poor oral health. The systemic diseases and quality of life correlated with periodontal disease should make the elderly be more aware on the importance of dental and oral health so their quality of life remains good and life expectancy can be maintained or improved.

“Life expectancy can reflect many things about a country, from the economic, social, health level, to being the subject of a policy review made by a country,” she concluded.

Author: Fariz Ilham Rosyidi

Editor    : Nuri Hermawan

Link        : https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334020061_Overview_of_dentures’_demand_to_support_the_improvement_of_life_quality_of_the_elderly_at_high-level_life_expectancy_in_Indonesia

Dr. Titiek Berniyanti, drg.,M.Kes, Overview of Dentures’ Demand to Support the Improvement of Life Quality of the Elderly at High‑Level Life Expectancy in Indonesia, 2019, Journal of International Oral Health, ISSN. 09767428, 09761799 Volume 11 | Issue 3 page. 112-117

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