Demographic changes and an increasing number of older adults is a big challenge for the oral health care in all the Nordic countries. The risk for dental diseases increases in older populations because morbidity, and reduced daily functioning and cognition complicate oral hygiene practices and the ability to organise dental visits. Futher, many morbidities and multiple drugs have effects on salivary flow which increases the risk for dental caries.
On the other hand, aging itself has effects on the immune system, increasing the severity of periodontitis and the prevalence of oral mucosal diseases, for example. Consequently, dental diseases seem to be concentrating in older age groups.
This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the unique aspects of dental diseases among older people, emphasizing the occurrence of root caries and periodontal diseases, which are the main dental diseases that typically involve a large number of dentate older people. It also attempts to describe management strategies and highlights minimally invasive treatment concepts for older people.