Oral health

Oral health, general health, and quality of life in older people

The purpose of this report is to review the interrelationship between poor oral health conditions of older people and general health. The impact of poor oral health on quality of life (QOL) is analyzed, and the implications for public health intervention and oral health care are discussed. Findings from the current research may lead to the following con-clusions: The available scientific evidence is particularly strong for a direct relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease; the direct relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease is less convincing. General and associated oral health conditions have a direct influence on elder people’s QOL and lifestyle. The growing number of elderly people challenges health authorities in most countries. The evidence on oral health–general health relationships is particularly important to WHO in its effort to strengthen integrated oral health promotion and disease prevention around the globe.

For more information contact:

Dr Poul Erik Petersen
Oral Health Programme, WHO
Telephone: +41 22 791 3475
E-mail: petersenpe@who.int