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While there are clear medical guidelines to help seniors take care of their oral health there are some options that might be less effective for younger patients a new Missouri State University researcher says.
In a commentary published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery Jiayun Huang an assistant professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University says there are many medications commonly prescribed to seniors for osteoarthritis an inflammation of cartilage.
Seniors who take some may have severe side effects making it more difficult to tolerate Huang said. Prior research has suggested low levels of certain calcium vitamin D and vitamin D2 are risk factors for tooth loss and tooth loss due to osteoarthritis.
Almost 80 percent of U. S. adults ages 65 and older probably are not taking the recommended daily dose of calciumplusvitamin D and vitamin D2 for at least six months Huang said. And while there are drugs and health organizations that recommend taking such calcium and vitamin D the usual dose in the United States is 600 IU a day for people 65 and older.
Huang points to a 2018 National Academy of Sciences report specifically recommending the use of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists in patients ages 65 to 89 years for osteoarthritis.
Huang says her main concern is that newer formulations of such drugs may not be effective in younger patients. Bone density needed for bone strength is also an issue for older patients she said.
I also think younger patients are at greater risk of severe adverse events from dental and craniofacial procedures Huang said. I think teeth are losing shape from this as well.
Huang says her commentary reflects the possibility that new formulations might not be effective in younger patients and dissuades her from recommending them.
Monika Wiesner professor of dentistry at the University of Michigan School of Dental Medicine and director of the Center for Oral Health Research at Michigan Medicine concurs.
There is still a lot to be learned when it comes to oral and maxillofacial healthcare Wiesner said. This commentary reiterates our own research findings and a number of the recent signs that point to the need for more research on maxillofacial healthcare in the formation of therapy recommendations and guidelines for younger patients.
It is my responsibility to take the scientific evidence on oral health seriously and engage in meaningful conversations about it Huang said. I need to do this as an ambassador of success so hopefully this will give people of the importance of their advocacy.