Chapter 6. Quality of life and oral health in older people

Gerry McKenna, Dominique Nietsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The concept of oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) delineates how oral outcomes impact on an individual’s physical, psychological and social functioning and hence overall quality of life. It explains how compromised oral health can negatively impact on quality of life through impairing daily activities, social interactions and self esteem. Factors that contribute to OHRQoL are in the areas of: oral health (mostly tooth loss, periodontal disease and pain), general health (especially chronic conditions and cognitive impairments causing deficient oral health behaviour), personal traits (including the ability to cope and adapt), demographic factors (age, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, culture), social (support, integration) and environmental factors (lifestyle, place of residence). In order to assess OHRQoL outcomes, a number of specific instruments, mostly questionnaires, have been developed.
Medical practitioners can make a major contribution towards improvement of OHRQoL and thereby the overall quality of life of their patients, and the public at large, through including oral health related questions in holistic medical assessments, promotion of good oral hygiene practices and increasing the awareness of the importance of good oral health to maintaining overall quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGerodontology Essentials for Healthcare Professionals
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jun 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Chapter 6. Quality of life and oral health in older people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this