IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 17 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/jomh.v17i1.316
Open Access Review
Oral health diseases among the older people: a general health perspective
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1 Department of Health Policy Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
2 Shanghai Bluecross Medical Science Institute, Shanghai, P. R. China
3 Institute for Hospital Management, Tsing Hua University, Shenzhen Campus, P. R. China
4 Enze Medical Research Center, Affiliated Taizhou Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College, Taizhou, P. R. China
5 Maoming People’s Hospital, Maoming, Guangdong, P. R. China
6 Department of Medical Research and Education, Cheng-Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, P. R. China
*Correspondence: (Ching-Wen Chien); (Tao-Hsin Tung)
J. Mens. Health 2021, 17(1), 7–15;
Submitted: 8 September 2020 | Accepted: 18 November 2020 | Published: 8 January 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Background: The relationship between oral health and general health is gaining interest in geriatric research; however, a lack of studies dealing with this issue from a general perspective makes it somewhat inaccessible to non-clinical public health professionals. Purpose: The purpose of this review is to describe the relationship between oral health and general health of the elderly on the basis of literature review, and to give non-clinical medical professionals and public health professionals an overview of this discipline. Methods: This study was based on an in-depth review of the literature pertaining to the relationship between oral health and general health among the older people. The tools commonly used to evaluate dental health and the academic researches of male elderly people were also reviewed. And future research directions were summarized. Results: Dental caries, periodontal disease, edentulism, and xerostomia are common oral diseases among the older people. Dental caries and periodontal diseases are the leading causes of missing teeth and edentulism. Xerostomia, similar to dry mouth, is another common oral health disease in the older people. No clear correlation exists between the subjective feeling of dryness and an objective decrease of saliva. Rather, both conditions can be explained by changes in saliva. The General Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI) and the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) are the main assessment tools used to examine oral health and quality of life in the older people. The GOHAI tends to be more sensitive to objective values pertaining to oral function. In addition, oral health studies in male elderly people are population-based cohort or cross-sectional studies, involving masticatory function, oral prevention, frailty problems, cardiovascular disease risk, and cognitive status. Conclusion: It is possible to reduce the incidence of certain oral diseases, even among individuals who take oral health care seriously. Oral health care should be based on the viewpoint of comprehensive treatment, including adequate nutrition, good life and psychology, and correct oral health care methods. In the future, researchers could combine the results of meta-analysis with the clinical experience of doctors to provide a more in-depth and broader discussion on oral health research topics concerning the older people.

General health
Oral health
Older people
Elderly population
Male elderly people
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