Geriatric dentistry is the delivery of dental care to older adults involving the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of problems associated with normal aging and age-related diseases as part of an interdisciplinary team with other health care professionals. The elderly here mean not only those who are aging, but also patients who are affected by various factors through aging or medically compromised patients. We also provide the care for the swallowing problems or oral care for elderly with dementia.
The goal of our research is to clarify the relationship between oral health and general health condition by epidemiologic approach. Followings are our currently running research projects;
1. Japanese Dentists Cohort Study
To clarify whether oral health condition, such as the number of teeth lost or presence of periodontal disease, has influence on severe disease or mortality, we followed up more than 20,000 Japanese dentists from 2001 through 2006. We have reported that tooth loss was associated with the risk of subsequent hip fracture.
2. QOL Cohort Study
More than 2,000 patients attending private practice have been followed to evaluate the impact of oral health related quality of life on generic health quality of life measure.
3. Health survey of depopulated area
Depopulated areas have many life-related problems, such as lack of medical access and difficulty of fresh food supply. We have medical team including dentists, medical doctors, public health nurses and nutritionists, to perform periodical survey of systemic health and life-style to improve the life environment of depopulated area in Fukuoka city.
4. Cognitive function and oral health survey
Oral health may have a influence in maintaining cognitive function of elderly people. We are following-up nursing homes on the relationship between oral health and cognitive function for 2 years.