Oral Health-Related Quality of Life in the Elderly: A Review and Future Challenges in Thailand

Supawadee Naorungroj, Thummaporn Naorungroj

Abstract


Oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) is a multidimensional concept that measures perceptions of oral health and the consequences of oral conditions at individual and population levels. Poor oral conditions are associated with a deteriorating quality of life (QoL) through functional and psychosocial impacts. As the elder population is growing worldwide and the prevalence of oral diseases among older adults remains high, more attention needs to be paid to oral health conditions as well as impacts on QoL. However, there are few population studies regarding OHRQoL in older Thai adults. Apparently, there are several challenges facing the assessment and improvement of the OHRQoL of this aging population. First, effort towards the standardization of instruments and validation of translated instruments is needed. Secondly, a multidisciplinary team, composed of health care providers, dental professionals, and policy makers has to be established. Finally, a holistic oral health care concept must be emphasized in dental educational programs and training. This review presents an overview of OHRQoL and its importance to the elderly and discusses future challenges to this group of the population in Thailand.

Keywords


Elderly; oral health; periodontal disease; quality of life; tooth loss

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