Updated: Apr 12, 2018
The Silent Epidemic
Dr. Kirsten Roling
One in ten older adults will die of aspiration pneumonia when their oral health is ignored. The likelihood of this risk increases when they enter assisted living, skilled nursing, long term care, memory care; are dementia patients, have COPD or other respiratory ailments, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, and a host of other medical conditions. J Dent Res. 2015 Mar; 94(3 Suppl): 14S–16S.
By ignoring the oral health of our most vulnerable population - a group who needs us the most - we are gambling with their lives.
Aspiration pneumonia is caused by inhaling the bacteria found in dirty/old dentures, rotting teeth, and gum infection.
Join the #1in10SeniorSmiles Alliance as an advocate or sponsor. We have specialized compliance programs for communities to offer mandated oral health assessments. we can help your organization become compliant at no charge. Let us help you to help your patients.
Contact us at info@1in10SeniorSmiles.com and register for our next Care Giver Training Program.
Dr. Kirsten Roling is a Public Health Dentist, and former Chief for the Office of Oral Health, Maricopa County, Department of Public Health. She is now a Teledentist and Special Projects Director for Smiles by Delivery, providing mobile dental care for homebound older adults; and Healthy Senior Smiles nonprofit. You can hear her speak of the oral health challenges of the aging on the weekly podcast, Healthy Senior Living Radio.