Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-dc8c957cd-cpb9g Total loading time: 3.566 Render date: 2022-01-27T09:51:19.170Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Book contents

Chapter 24 - The Oral Cavity of the Elder

Aging, Disease, Falls, and Inflicted Trauma

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 July 2020

Kim A. Collins
LifePoint Inc, South Carolina
Roger W. Byard
University of Adelaide
Get access


To thoroughly examine the elder, either clinically or at autopsy, the oral cavity must be included. The teeth, gingiva, palates, tongue, lips, frenula, and lingual and buccal mucosa can often convey a great deal of information about the decedent’s overall health as well as current illnesses. Immunological abnormalities, endocrinopathies, dehydration, hematological disorders, malignancies, malnutrition, neglect, and diabetes mellitus are but a few of hundreds of entities that have oral manifestations.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Collins, P.J., Collins, K.A.. The oral cavity. In Collins, K.A., ed. Autopsy Performance and Reporting, 3rd ed. Northfield: College of American Pathologists Press; 2017, Chapter 16.Google Scholar
Collins, K.A.. Elder abuse. In Siegel, J.A., Saukko, P.J., eds. Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, vol. 3, 2nd ed. Waltham: Academic Press; 2013, pp. 116122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Collins, K.A., Presnell, S.E.. Elder neglect and the pathophysiology of aging. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 2007;28(2):157162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Macentee, M.I., Nolan, A., Thomason, J.M.. Oral mucosal and osseous disorders and frail elders. Gerodontology 2004;21(2):7884.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lloyd, P.M., Shat, K.. Dental pain in the elderly. Age 1987;10:7080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kelsey, J.L., Lamster, I.B.. Influence of musculoskeletal conditions on oral health among older adults. Am J Pub Health 2008;98(7):11771183.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Negrato, C.A., Tarzia, O. Buccal alterations in diabetes mellitus. Diabetol Metab Syndr 2010;15:23.Google Scholar
Lamster, I.B., Asadourian, L., Del Carmen, T., Friedman, P.K.. The aging mouth: differentiating normal aging from disease. Periodontol 2000 2016;72(1):96107.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Abrams, A.P., Thompson, L.A.. Physiology of aging of older adults: systemic and oral health considerations. Dent Clin North Am 2014;58(4):729738.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
De Rossi, S.S., Slaughter, Y.A.. Oral changes in older patients: a clinician’s guide. Quintessence Int 2007;38(9):773780.Google ScholarPubMed
Guiglia, R., Musciotto, A., Compilatio, D. et al. Aging and oral health: effects in hard and soft tissues. Cure Pharm Des 2010;16(6):619630.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gil-Montoya, J.A., Ferreira de Mello, A.L., Barrios, R. et al. Oral health in the elderly patient and its impact on general well-being: a nonsystematic review. Clin Interventions Aging 2015;10:461467.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Otomo-Corgel, J., Pucher, J.J., Rethman, M.P. et al. State of the science: chronic periodontitis and systemic health. J Evid Based Dent Pract 2012;12(3 Suppl):2028.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wiseman, M.. The role of the dentist in recognizing elder abuse. JCDA 2008;74(8):715720.Google ScholarPubMed
Preoteasa, E., Tancu, A.M., Iosif, L. et al. Salivary changes related to systemic diseases in the edentulous patient. J Med Life 2014;7(4):577580.Google Scholar
Bergdahl, M., Bergdahl, J.. Low unstimulated salivary flow and subjective oral dryness: Association of medication, anxiety, depression and stress. J Dental Restor 2000;79(9):16521658.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Guggenheimer, J., Moore, A.P.. Xerostomia – etiology, recognition, and treatment. JADA 2003;134:6169.Google ScholarPubMed
Minke, P., Worth, R., Gladness, J., Dziewas, R.. Age-related changes in swallowing. Physiology and pathophysiology. Nervenarzt 2015;86(4):440451.Google Scholar
Kammers, A.C.E., Zanetti, A.L., Pulicano Lacerda, T.E.S. et al. Toothbrush handles individually adapted for use by elderly patients to reduce biofilm on complete dentures: a pilot study. J Clin Diag Res 2015;9(5):ZC94ZC97.Google ScholarPubMed
Watando, A., Ebihara, S., Ebihara, T. et al. Daily oral care and cough reflex sensitivity and elderly nursing home patients. Chest 2004;126(4):10661070.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Montgomery, S.C., Streit, S.M., Beebe, M.L. et al. Micronutrient needs of the elderly. Nutr Clin Pract 2014;29(4):435444.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sheiham, A., Steele, J.. Does the condition of the mouth and teeth affect the ability to eat certain foods, nutrient and dietary intake and nutritional status amongst older people? Public Health Nutr 2001;4(3):797803.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jablonski, R.A., Monro, C.L., Grap, M.J., Elswick, R.K.. The role of biobehavioral, environmental, and social forces on oral health disparities and frail and functionally dependent nursing home elders. Biol Res Nurs 2005;7(1):7582.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Watanabe, Y., Hirano, H., Aria, H. et al. Relationship between frailty and oral function in community-dwelling elderly adults. J Am Geriatric Soc 2017;65(1):6676.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Murphy, K., Waa, S., Jaffer, H., Saucer, A., Chan, A.. A literature review of findings in physical elder abuse. Can Assoc Radiology J 2013;64(1):1014.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mattoo, K.A., Garg, R., Kumar, S.. Geriatric forensics – part 2 “prevalence of elder abuse and their potential forensic markers among medical and dental patients. J Forensic Dent Sci 2015;7(3):201207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gironda, M.W., Lefever, K.H., Anderson, E.A.. Dental students’ knowledge about elder abuse and neglect and the reporting responsibilities of dentists. J Dent Educ 2010;74(8):824829.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gironda, M.W., Nguyen, A.L., Mosqueda, L.M.. Is this broken bone because of abuse? Characteristics and comorbid diagnoses in older adults with fractures. J Am Geriatr Soc 2016;64(8):16511655.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zelken, J.A., Khalifian, S., Mundinger, G.S. et al. Defining predictable patterns of craniomaxillofacial injury in the elderly: analysis of 1,047 patients. J Oral Maxillofacial Surg 2014;72(2):352361.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Collins, K.A.. Elder maltreatment: a review. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2006;130(9):12901296.Google ScholarPubMed
Howe, J.A., Collins, K.A., King, P.S., Yeoman, C.. Investigation of elder deaths. Acad Forensic Pathol 2014;4(3):290304.Google Scholar
Rosen, T., Clark, S., Bloemen, E.M. et al. Geriatric assault victims treated at U.S. trauma centers: five-year analysis of the national trauma data bank. Injury 2016;47(12):26712678.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rosen, T., Bloemen, E.M., Lofaso, V.M. et al. Emergency department presentations for injuries in older adults independently known to be victims of elder abuse. J Emerg Med 2016;50(3):518526.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Collins, K.A., Cina, S.J., Hooper, J.E.. Getting the most out of the autopsy: ancillary studies. In Collins, K.A., ed. Autopsy Performance and Reporting, 3rd ed. Northfield: College of American Pathologists Press; 2017, Chapter 28.Google Scholar
Collins, K.A.. Postmortem Vitreous Analysis. eMedicine Autopsy Textbook. 2016. Scholar
Belsey, S.L., Flanagan, R.J.. Postmortem biochemistry update: current applications. J Forensic Leg Med 2016;40:4957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bell, M., Collins, K.A.. Postmortem microbiologic testing. In Collins, K.A., ed. Autopsy Performance and Reporting, 3rd ed. Northfield: College of American Pathologists Press; 2017, Chapter 29.Google Scholar
Riedel, S.. The value of the postmortem microbiology cultures. J Clin Microbiol 2014;52(4):10281032.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats