Demographic developments indicate both an increasing proportion of the elderly in the population and an augmenting life expectancy. The elderly tend to retain their natural teeth for longer, and the first removable denture is inserted more often later in life. Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) is influenced by functional parameters such as pain and discomfort, but also by psychological and social aspects. Dental care may restore oral function and alleviate pain and discomfort, e.g. caused by xerostomia. Dental treatment could further improve oral appearance of the elderly individual, which might provide self-esteem and thus contribute to the psychological well-being. Even social aspects like communication and social interactions could be positively influenced by dental care. Thus oral health and dental care have a significant impact on the quality of life (QoL) of elderly adults.
Keywords: quality of life, elderly, gerodontology, OHRQoL, ageing