For those who aren’t aware what frailty is all about, it means vulnerability towards dental health conditions or inability to perform daily routines due to declining health. One of the risk factors of frailty is poor oral health because it effects the abilities like smiling, eating and even speaking, ultimately the quality of life.
A study including 7735 British male participants and published in the American Geriatrics Society Journal does show that frailty and oral hygiene to go hand in hand.
The study started off when the participants were 40-59 years old in 1978 -1980. Then again in 2010-2012 the 1722 participants who were alive then were called for re-examination. At that time their age was 71-92 years. The participants were examined for their physical health, vital statistics as well as weight, walking and grip test as well. A questionnaire explaining their medical history as well as lifestyle was also needed to be answered besides information around social medical and health.
Additionally, there was a dental exam for noting the frailty status of the participants. The confirmation of frailty was done on the basis of three issues – weak grip, slow walking speed, weight loss, exhaustion or low physical activity levels.
Dental examination showed that around more than half viz. 64 percent had less than 21 teeth, over 54 percent were suffering from gum disease, 34 percent of the participants rated their oral health as poor or fair, 29 percent exhibited minimum two symptoms of dry mouth while almost 20 percent were having no teeth at all. 11 percent of the participants had difficulty eating food.
Well, considering this study, there seems to be a direction connection between frailty and oral health. As per an expert Dr. Carter, Chief Executive Oral health Foundation, in UK the people have good longevity but it comes at the cost of significant health problems for people over 65 years of age. Hence, brushing teeth effectively is necessary but due to dexterity and limited mobility, it makes it hard for the elders to do so. Hence, its advisable that elders give priority to their oral health and even the government takes measures in devising a effective oral health system particularly for the elder population.
*Sourced from the Internet
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