Dental Health Awareness
Updated: May 21, 2019
Oral health is integral to our overall health and quality of life. Poor oral health can lead to pain and discomfort, which in turn is detrimental to the ability to chew, speech, and social confidence.
We will discuss the public health framework for addressing the oral health needs of older adults in California. The Center for Oral Health found that a significant number of older adults in California are burdened by preventable oral health problems.
The poor oral health among the older adult population has important implications because this population is growing at a rapid rate, by 2030 there will be an estimated 10.9 million older Californians.
Griffin er al. found that oral disease is particularly high among those with poor general health and lower-income groups, and a significant number of older adults lack access to interventions for preventing and controlling oral disease.
The Spectrum of Prevention Framework can be used to tackle this problem. The Spectrum of Prevention Framework elements are: influencing policy and legislation, mobilizing community activities, fostering coalitions and networks, changing organizational practices, educating providers, promoting community education, strengthening individual knowledge and skills, and assuring access to quality health care.
Health care professionals, community leaders, and older individuals can all utilize the Spectrum of Prevention strategies to improve older adults’ oral health. Together there can be infrastructure, environment, cognitive, behavioral, and health benefits. Bettering transportation for the elderly, availability of healthy food choices, awareness and knowledge of oral health, and ultimately improving quality of life and general health.