Prosthodontics and Feeding Function in the Elderly

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  • 高齢者の摂食機能と歯科補綴

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As aging on a demography continues even today, geriatric dentistry responsive to the times is demanded. The greatest concern of elderly individuals is health, and eating is very important in order to maintain and promote quality of life in the elderly. Prosthetics in the future should not end with the treatment of tooth loss and defect of oral tissue; rather, it must pursue a shift to prevention of age-attendant decline in feeding function, which consists of masticatory function and swallowing function. Aging is not a factor that directly influences mastication performance, whereas masticatory performance is greatly influenced by tooth loss, and associated with occlusal force, hyposalivation and oral stereognostic ability. For swallowing function, it is suggested that denture wearing and occlusal support bring about a good deglutition, but the relation between swallowing function, ageing and prosthetic appliances is not clear enough. In order that a prosthetic appliance may improve feeding function, our eyes should be turned to decline of muscle strength, salivary flow and stereognostic ability. In elderly people, although the relation between aging and mulnutrition has been a problem, in order to improve malnutrition, it seems that it is required to prevent the tooth loss and muscular malfaunction and to the evaluate sensation susceptibility and the relation of nutrition status and prosthetic appliances.


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