More oral health care needed for ageing populations.

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The article presents information on the growing oral health care for aging populations. Oral disease is the fourth most expensive ailment to treat in most industrialized countries, according to World Health Organization's "World oral health report 2003." The burden of oral disease is likely to grow in many developing countries because of unhealthy diets rich in sugars and high consumption of tobacco. Industrialized countries spend 5-10% of their national public health resources on dental care a year, but most developing countries allocate no budget at all to the control of oral disease. As with other health issues, older people have very different oral health needs to children and younger adults. They are more likely to take medication that causes dry mouth, leading to tooth decay and infections of the mouth. More than 400 commonly used medications--many of them for chronic conditions to which the elderly are susceptible--can dry out the mouth. Oral cancer is another danger that can strike after years of over-consumption of tobacco and alcohol.

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  • Theresa Braine

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