Invited Perspective| Volume 29, ISSUE 10, P1053-1057, October 2021

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Oral health is Essential to the Well-Being of Older People


      • What is the primary question addressed by this opinion piece?Good oral health is important for overall health, comfort, and basic dignity of older members of society.
      • What is the main finding of this opinion piece?There is a need for a more collaborative approach between health care workers and dental professionals. This shared responsibility for oral health may be key to improving early recognition of dental issues and implementing preventative oral health measures.
      • What is the meaning of the finding?A paradigm shift is required to reinforce the importance of oral health as part of general health and as a basic human right, but also to support greater interprofessional collaboration to begin to address this issue.


      Although the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental human right, oral health is often not considered an important component of overall health. Older people experience poorer quality of life due to discomfort and uncleanliness of their mouth and there continue to be barriers within health systems that contribute to this poor oral health. This paper advocates for oral health to be considered part of the basic human right to good health care and discusses how stakeholders can collaborate and work together to begin to meet the needs of this population, proposing solutions and recommendations to bring about change.


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