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Am J Public Health. 2008 Jul;98(7):1177-83. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.129429. Epub 2008 May 29.

Influence of musculoskeletal conditions on oral health among older adults.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.


Both musculoskeletal disorders and diseases of the oral cavity are common and potentially serious problems among older persons, yet little attention has been given to the links between them. Several musculoskeletal diseases, including osteoporosis, Paget's disease, and arthritic disorders, may directly involve the oral cavity and contiguous structures. Drugs used to treat musculoskeletal diseases, including corticosteroids and bisphosphonates, increase the risk of suppression of the immune system and osteonecrosis of the jaw, respectively. Many people with disabling osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions have difficulty practicing good oral hygiene and traveling to dental offices for professional help. Various inexpensive measures can help such individuals, including education of their caregivers and provision of antimicrobial mouthwashes and special toothbrushes.

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