Journal of Dental Hygiene
It is estimated that the older population, aged 65 and older, will make up over 20% of the U.S. population by the year 2030. Research acknowledges about 4% of the older population resides in long-term care facilities (LTCFs), where the long-term older patient (LTOP) is under the formal supervised care or custody of institutions with skilled nurses. By the year 2040, 4 million geriatric residents are predicted to move into LTCFs in the U.S. In 2000, the Surgeon General reported LTOPs in LTCFs have greater oral hygiene needs than any other segment of the population to include: root caries, periodontal disease, xerostomia, fungal infections and other oral health concerns. Serious systemic health conditions occurring at high incidence rates have been linked to poor oral hygiene in the LTOP. The purpose of this manuscript is to identify systemic health conditions, oral health conditions, barriers to oral care for LTOPs and to offer recommendations for increased access to care within LTCFs through the use of registered dental hygienists (RDHs).
Original Publication Citation
Dahm, T. S., Bruhn, A., & LeMaster, M. (2015). Oral care in the long-term care of older patients: How can the dental hygienist meet the need? Journal of Dental Hygiene, 89(4), 229-237.
Dahm, Tracee S.; Bruhn, Ann; and LeMaster, Margaret, "Oral Care in the Long-Term Care of Older Patients: How Can the Dental Hygienist Meet the Need?" (2015). Dental Hygiene Faculty Publications. 27.