Medical considerations relating to the oral health of older adults


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This review paper was written in conjunction with the 2010 National Coalition Consensus Conference: Oral Health of Vulnerable Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities. It provides an overview of specific medical considerations involved with dental diagnosis and treatment of this “at risk population.” The role of oral inflammation is referenced within the context of the oral/systemic paradigm (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular disease/stroke, respiratory diseases, and cognition). Oral manifestations associated with multi-organ diseases, tobacco/alcohol use, and medications are additionally discussed. Finally, the paper encourages development of interdisciplinary approaches to positively influence health outcomes.