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Warning over 'urgent' dental problems of over-65s

17 August 2017 08:18

Experts have warned about the number of over-65s facing urgent dental conditions

Experts have warned about the number of over-65s facing urgent dental conditions

Older people are being "let down" when it comes to access to dental care, experts have warned.

The call for a "more joined-up approach" came from the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) as a report revealed at least 1.8 million over-65s could have an urgent dental condition.

Oral sepsis and serious tooth decay were among the conditions highlighted in the report. The effects of such conditions can be "isolating" for older people and impact upon their quality of life, says the FDS.

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Urgent action needed

The FDS warns the number of over-65s facing urgent dental conditions across England, Wales and Northern Ireland could rise by more than 50% by 2040.

The organisation has called for urgent action to give older people better access to dental care.

Experts want oral health training to be rolled out to health and social care professionals to better spot potential problems, and also for regulators of care homes and hospitals to assess oral health standards.

What the FDS says

Professor Michael Escudier, dean of the FDS at the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "We are letting older people down at a time when they need the most help by not having a joined-up strategy for improving access to dental services for older people.

"Many of us know what it's like to have excruciating tooth or gum pain. It puts you off your food and makes it difficult to do daily tasks.

"For older people, the effects are even worse. It can be very isolating, making people reluctant to socialise with friends and family, and will have a significant impact on their quality of life."