Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
SIMOES, Ana Carolina de Assis and CARVALHO, Denise Maciel. The reality of the oral/dental health of the elderly in the Brazilian Southeast. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.6, pp. 2975-2982. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000600035.
The scope of this work was to describe the alterations revealed in oral/dental structures resulting from ageing and to verify, through the national scientific production, with emphasis on the Southeastern region, the prevaling oral/dental problems in the elderly. A review of the literature on the theme of ageing in the context of dentistry was conducted. The results pointed to the fact that the elderly population is the fastest growing population segment. The prevailing oral/dental problems in this age bracket are radicular caries and periodontal illness, which contribute to the vast majority of dental extractions. In the Southeastern region of Brazil, the use of prostheses is low when compared with the high rate of tooth loss and the percentage of partially toothed elderly people; the value of the CPOD index is high and the elderly have a positive perception on their teeth, despite the fact that oral/dental problems have a negative impact on their lives. It is concluded that the inclusion of a dental surgeon in the healthcare team of the institutions and the systematization of oral/dental hygiene are pressing needs, in addition to the need for ongoing work of guidance for the the oral/dental healthcare of the elderly. Broadening of the study in this area is also fundamental to ensure dental care and treatment of these individuals.
Keywords : Ageing; Dentistry; Elderly; Oral/dental health.