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Module 10: Oral Health - Providing Dental Care for Older Adults in LTC

Module 10 addresses:

1) Why dental health promotes overall health and quality of life;
2) The potential benefits to nursing care delivery when daily dental care is maintained;
3) Plaque bacteria and how prevention can protect the mouth from damage caused by plaque;
4) Ways to control plaque in older persons that are functionally dependent and cognitively impaired;
5) Visible dental problems that should be reported to the nurse or other healthcare provider who might refer to the dentist.

Providing Dental Care for Older Adults in Long Term Care

Written by:

Ann Slaughter, DDS, MPH
Assistant Professor
Course Director, Geriatric Dentistry
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Reviewed in early 2014 by:

Erin Knoepfel MS, CCC-SLP, BRS-S
Director of Clinical Services - Speech Language Pathology Board Recognized Specialist in Swallowing & Swallowing Disorders Genesis Rehab Services

Garry Pezzano, MS, CCC-SLP
Senior Vice President of Clinical Care, Genesis Rehab

This presentation is designed to educate non-dental health care providers, particularly direct care staff in the provision of mouth care for older persons residing in long-term care facilities. Dental health is important because dental disease and mouth problems are common in the nursing home and homebound population. The mouth has been called a mirror of health and disease because there you find signs of systemic diseases, microbial infections, and nutritional deficiencies.

Oral health and general health should not be thought of as being separate. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, malnutrition, stroke and pneumonia are common conditions in many of the patients you care for. Poor oral health can make these medical problems worse because of the increased bacteria in the mouth that spread to other systems of the body. And because of their compromised medical health, older adults in long term care are more at risk for infections. Good oral health is important and contributes to keeping older persons as healthy as possible. Dental health is not only related to physical health, but also oral health is related to well-being and quality of life.

The teaching materials for this module include a PowerPoint presentation that contains notes for the speaker. These notes provide additional information so that the speaker can ellaborate on each concept presented within the PowerPoint.

If you would like to create handouts from the PowerPoint file for your attendees and do not know how, please visit the following link:

How to Create Handouts for Attendees from PowerPoint

If you would like to create a printout of the slides that also contains the notes for the instructor, please visit the following link:

How to Create Notes Pages for Presenters in PowerPoint

Please note that there is a Disqus commenting field at the bottom of this page. The Geriatric Education Center of Greater Philadelphia would greatly appreciate any feedback.

Teaching Materials:

Generic module files:

How to Use This Module

Logistics Checklist

Module-specific files:

Module 10: Oral Health: Instructor's PowerPoint Slides with Speaker's Notes

Module 10: Oral Health: Evaluation of Module


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