Objective: The total years lived with disability among older people, and the concomitant burden of tooth loss in ageing societies have increased. This study is an overview of the burden of oral diseases and access to oral care in an ageing society. Methods: We selected key issues related to the burden of oral diseases and access to oral care and reviewed the relevant literature. Results: The rising number of older people with teeth increases their oral health care needs. To improve access to oral care, affordability of care is a great concern with respect to universal health coverage. In addition, accessibility is a crucial issue, particularly for vulnerable older adults. To improve oral care access, attempts to integrate oral health care into general care are being made in ageing countries. For this purpose, provision of professional oral care at home through domiciliary visits and provision of daily oral health care by non-dental professional caregivers are important. Oral health care for older people reduces general diseases such as pneumonia and malnutrition, which in turn could reduce further healthcare costs. Conclusions: To address the growing burden of oral care in ageing societies, special provision of oral health care to vulnerable older people, and integration of oral care with primary care will be required.
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