Dr. Christie M. Hogue|2/16/2023

“Having the teeth in their mouth will help us to pronounce clearly the words in order to communicate appropriately.” – Roberto Carlos Castrejón-Pérez DS, MSc, DSc.

Hello! Welcome to the Aging Pearls Podcast, where we’re dedicated to providing dental pearls for all those concerned with the oral care needs of our aging population. I am Dr. Christie Hogue and today, we sit down with Roberto Carlos Castrejón-Pérez to discuss the importance of understanding behavior modifications as it relates to oral health and increasing lifespan, particularly for older adults.

Roberto Carlos Castrejón-Pérez is a nature enthusiast who was born in Chiapas to a long-lived family. He was an athlete during his youth and still enjoys sports. After completing his master’s degree, he started working on ageing and joined the Instituto Nacional de Geriatría in 2009. His research interests are focused on oral health and the general health of older populations. In addition to his academic pursuits, Roberto is a photography enthusiast and enjoys having long talks with his friends.

[00:01 – 07:17] Important Points for Oral Health and Increasing Lifespan

  • Losing teeth is preventable and not a natural part of aging 

  • Access to a variety of food is important for a pleasurable life 

  • Cultural experiences affect oral health and overall health 

  • Health literacy for all populations can make a significant difference as we age 

[07:18 – 15:56] Promoting Healthy Aging through Oral Health

  • Ageism is a harmful and prevalent attitude in society towards the elderly. 

  • Aging is a natural process that is impacted by genetics, lifestyle, and behavior. 

  • The belief that dental problems are inevitable with age is a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to poor oral health. 

  • Health professionals have a role in promoting literacy and behavior modification to reduce health disparities and promote healthy aging. 

[15:56 – 22:25] Preventative Measures for Maintaining Oral Health in Aging Populations

  • Distinguish normal aging from age-related conditions affecting dental health, such as Parkinson’s disease and arthritis. 

  • Educate nurses and caregivers on dental care for aging patients, including adaptive aids. 

  • Empower patients to take responsibility for their oral health and debunk the myth that dental visits are always costly. 

  • Highlight the significance of prevention and the impact of dental health on communication and enjoyment of food. 

[22:26 – 28:53] Closing Segment

  • Good oral health is essential for clear communication, as dental problems can affect pronunciation. 

  • Social barriers such as age, ethnicity, and economic status can limit access to oral health care and understanding of treatment needs. 

  • Patients should take ownership of their oral health and work with their healthcare providers to overcome barriers to care. 

  • With modern technology and knowledge, there are many treatments available to improve oral health and quality of life, such as the ability to chew and enjoy food.  

Key Quotes:

“It is never too late to learn how to take care of ourselves. We must take our role in trying to address or promote healthy aging and prepare for a healthy aging process.” – Roberto Carlos Castrejón-Pérez DS, MSc, DSc.

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