Aging of Oral Mucosa: Correlating underlying changes with clinical patient needs
A Peer-Reviewed Publication Written by Margaret J. Fehrenbach, RDH, MS
Geriatric individuals comprise the most rapidly growing population segment in the U.S. The unique needs of this subgroup will impact the oral health of our patient base. The goal of this course is to understand how the patients' aging oral mucosa affects their clinical needs. Clinicians need to distinguish aging processes from disease processes, and to examine the signs of aging within the oral mucosa as well as the underlying microscopic changes. This includes details concerning how the repair of the oral mucosa is affected. The basic histology of the oral mucosa will be reviewed as well as future prospects for controlling the effects of aging in the oral mucosa.
At the conclusion of this educational activity participants will be able to:
1. Explain why it is important to separate aging processes from disease processes.
2. Contrast the signs of aged oral mucosa with the aged skin and lips.
3. Relate how repair within the oral mucosa changes with age.
4. Describe the future prospects for controlling the effects of aging within the oral mucosa.
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