Geroscience: Aging and Oral Health Research

J. A. Weintraub, M. Kaeberlein, C. Perissinotto, K. A. Atchison, X. Chen, R. N. D’Souza, J. S. Feine, E. M. Ghezzi, K. L. Kirkwood, M. Ryder, L. D. Slashcheva, R. Touger-Decker, B. Wu, Y. Kapila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research in aging has significantly advanced; scientists are now able to identify interventions that slow the biologic aging processes (i.e., the “hallmarks of aging”), thus delaying the onset and progression of multiple diseases, including oral conditions. Presentations given during the 3-part session “Geroscience: Aging and Oral Health Research,” held during the 2023 American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research meeting, are summarized in this publication. Speakers’ topics spanned the translational research spectrum. Session 1 provided an overview of the geroscience and health span (disease-free and functional health throughout life) concepts. The common molecular mechanisms between oral cancer and aging were discussed, and research was presented that showed periodontal microflora as a potential factor in Alzheimer’s disease progression. Session 2 focused on behavioral and social science aspects of aging and their oral health significance. The keynote provided evidence that loneliness and isolation can have major health effects. These social conditions, along with poor oral health, tooth loss, and cognitive decline, could potentially affect healthy eating ability and systemic health in older adults. Research could help elucidate the directions and pathways connecting these seemingly disparate conditions. Session 3 focused on the delivery of oral care in different settings and the many barriers to access care faced by older adults. Research is needed to identify and implement effective technology and strategies to improve access to dental care, including new delivery and financing mechanisms, workforce models, interprofessional provider education and practice, and use of big data from medical–dental integration of electronic health records. Research to improve the “oral health span,” reduce oral health disparities, and increase health equity must be tackled at all levels from biologic pathways to social determinants of health and health policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-15
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in dental research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • cognitive dysfunction
  • delivery of health care
  • loneliness
  • nutritional status
  • periodontal diseases
  • tooth loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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