Age related changes in chewing muscles and tongue take place parallel with neurological changes in the stomatognatic system. Deterioration of this kind may lead to swallowing difficulties accompanied by coughing, discomfort, and aspiration of solid or fluid material into the airways. This condition is denoted dysphagia and is often associated with cardiovascular and neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and demens, particularly in old and frail patients. Sequelae of dysphagia are malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia, the latter sometimes leading to death in this group of patients. Researchers from many countries agree that inadequate oral health such as failing chewing function and missing oral hygiene are important contributing factors in the development of dysphagia, particularly among patients in nursing homes.

Dysfagi, aldring og oral helse
Jacobsen N
Nor Tannlegeforen Tid. 2019; 129: 1106–9