Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
3858‌ Cashill Blvd.,‌ Reno,‌ NV‌ ‌89509
Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

Healthy Aging Committee

The committee serves as a focal point for healthy aging issues and resources for state oral health programs. The committee consists of selected experts in the area of healthy aging and oral health as well as state oral health program directors interested in advancing statewide efforts to improve the oral health of this population. The committee is involved with reviewing model programs, policies and resource materials related to healthy aging with the goal of supporting state wide efforts in this area.

ASTDD Resources

ASTDD Older Adult Oral Health Resources for Collaboration

Compendium of ASTDD Healthy Aging Resources (April 2023)

Improving Oral Health Access and Services for Older Adults White Paper In this white paper ASTDD explains the rationale for supporting efforts to provide a comprehensive dental benefit for older adults in publicly funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and inclusion of dental benefits in all health insurance plans. In it ASTDD also encourages state level data collection and supports research efforts to further document cost-savings and overall economic benefit from optimum oral health among older adults. (February 2018)

ASTDD Older Adult Oral Health Best Practice Approach Report (March 2017) This report contains a wealth of information pertaining to older adult oral health as well as links to many resources.

ASTDD Older Adult Basic Screening Survey (BSS) Resources

ASTDD Basic Screening Survey for Older Adults Planning and Implementation Tool Kit This downloadable toolkit contains all of the information you will need to plan and conduct a BSS of vulnerable older adults.

Older Adult BSS Tips for Success - A collection of lessons learned from states that have conducted an Older Adult Basic Screening Survey and information on ASTDD resources, including BSS coaches, to assist states and organizations planning to collect oral health data on this age group. (January 2017)

States with BSS Oral Health Data - This resource lists all states that have data obtained through a BSS of preschool or3rd grade children or older adults. When available, links to state BSS reports are provided.

ASTDD Older Adult Webcasts

ASTDD Chronic Disease and Older Adult Oral Health - As the older adult population in the U.S. increases, there is a greater need for those in public health and clinical oral healthcare settings to incorporate chronic disease assessment for older adult patients. Our speakers discussed how various chronic disease conditions can impact treatment planning and oral health outcomes. Ms. Park is a chronic disease consultant to the ASTDD and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. She provided an overview of the connection between a healthy mouth and overall health. Dr. Cartier provided information on national trends and how they impact the delivery of oral healthcare. He also discussed the Seattle Care Pathway and how this can be applied to "prioritize" the type of oral care that is delivered to older adults. (August 2018).

Additional Resources

Training Health Care Professionals to Focus on the Oral-Systemic Health of Older Adults - This PowerPoint presents three programs that successfully train future health care professionals to work with the older adult population, with a focus on oral-systemic health. (January 2018)

Data Sources: Where to Uncover Oral Health Information for Older Adults - This PowerPoint presents an overview on how to find older adult oral health data (BRFSS, NHANES, MEPS, CASOA, BSS, etc.) and where to find valuable information that can then be shared to raise the awareness of older adult oral health issues. Once you've discovered this treasure trove of information, how do you cash in on it? Check out an infographic template that was shared as part of the webcast. The template can be used to frame your newly found wealth of information. (March 2017)

Oropharyngeal Cancer and HPV: What's the Latest? - The ASTDD Healthy Aging committee hosted an "Oropharyngeal Cancer and HPV: What's the Latest?" coffee break call. Dr. Mahnaz Fatahzadeh, DMD, MSD, from the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine presented information on the epidemiology, risk factors and clinical presentation of oral cancer and in particular HPV positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas. (2016). For more information go to the CDC HPV and Cancer webpage.

Other ASTDD Resources

Talking Points-Why Oral Health in Older Adults is Important - This infographic, collaboratively developed by the ASTDD Healthy Aging Committee and the American Dental Association, provides talking points that highlight the importance of oral health in older adults. (Dec 2015)

State Resources

Kansas Older Adults & Oral Health: Kansas shared this flyer with facilities participating in the Older Adult Basic Screening Survey in 2018.

Rhode Island Skilled Nursing Facilities Oral Health Report 2018: RIDOH worked with the Rhode Island Long Term Care Coordinating Council's Oral Health Subcommittee to develop a survey focused on dental and oral care in long-term care facilities. The 2018 Oral Health Survey was sent to administration-level staff at all Medicare-Certified Rhode Island nursing homes in February 2018 with the aim of gathering information about current oral health practices and opportunities to support nursing homes in their delivery of quality oral healthcare.

Colorado Older Adult Oral Health Action Plan: Discusses the process of developing the plan as well as action items and who is responsible for moving the actions items forward. (January 2015)

Washington Elder Smiles Survey Report: PowerPoint - October 2017 Elder Smiles is Washington's first oral health survey of adults 65+ years. Data was collected from older adults at a convenience sample of 15 senior centers throughout the State. This project was supported by the Arcora Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington. The report provides results from the 2017 survey of senior centers and compares those with results from their phone survey in 2012.

Other Organizations' Resources

American Dental Association How to Guide for Incurred Medical Expense and Federal Regulations Related to IME

American Dental Association (ADA)- Mouth Healthy: Answers to questions about oral health targeted at adults over age 60.

America's Health Rankings - 2019 Report Senior - 2019 marked the 30th year of America's Health Rankings. This report provides a comprehensive look at the health of seniors across the nation and on a state by state basis. Thirty-four core measures of health are used to create the senior health state rankings.

CDC Adult Oral Health: Provides links to various adult oral health resources.

CDC Healthy Aging Data Portal: The Healthy Aging Data Portal provides easy access to CDC data on a range of key indicators of health and well-being, screenings and vaccinations, and mental health among older adults at the national and state levels. These indicators provide a snapshot of currently available surveillance information, and can be useful for prioritization and evaluation of public health interventions.

Center for Oral Health Older Adult Resources . A Healthy Smile Never Gets Old: A California Report on the Oral Health of Older Adults. (March 2018) Two page Factsheet: A Healthy Smile Never Gets Old: A California Report on the Oral Health of Older Adults.

Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries (2019)

New Study from AARP and FrameWorks Institute Reveals Powerful Role of Imagery to Influence Consumer Attitudes - Reframing Aging Through Images highlights the need for more poitive portrayals of aging adults in media (October 2022)

Gerontological Society of America (GSA) - Interprofessional Solutions for Improving Oral Health in Older Adults: Addressing Access Barriers, Creating Oral Health Champions: This white paper summarizes the deliberations from the March 2017 forum organized by GSA and makes six specific recommendations aimed at raising people's quality of life as they age. (July 2017)

Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Interrelationships Between Nutrition and Oral Health in Older Adults. The GSA What's Hot newsletter discusses the interrelationships between nutrition and oral health with an emphasis on older adults who undergo surgery, have cancer, or require special diets due to chronic health conditions and factors related to social determinants of health. It also examines the need for interprofessional education initiatives that reinforce care that benefits both oral health and nutrition. Without a healthy mouth to chew food and begin the digestive process, nutritional status suffers. And, without adequate nutrients, oral health often declines, muscles weaken, gum tissues become infected, bone supporting teeth resorbs, and teeth decay and may eventually be lost.

Gerontological Society of America (GSA) launched an initiative called "Oral Health:  An Essential Element of Healthy Aging" as part of its commitment to improving oral health of older adults. The webpage includes links to the What's Hot newsletter featuring Interrelationships Between Nutrition and Oral Health in Older Adults and Oral Health: An Essential Element of Healthy Aging.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Oral Health webpage - Includes Oral Health and aging resources created by the NIDCR.  The resources include information on: Brushing Information for Caregivers: Flossing Information for Caregivers: Dry Mouth & Older Adults: Information for Caregivers: Finding Low Cost Dental Care: The resources are in a PDF format and are able to be copied for distribution.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)-Older Adults and Oral Health

National Association of States United for Aging and Disability (NASUAD) 2016 report: Medicaid Oral Health Coverage for Older Adults and People with Disabilities"- During calendar year 2015, NASUAD engaged in a collaboration with the DentaQuest Foundation to identify and promote effective oral health interventions for older adults and people with physical disabilities. This initiative involved collaborating with partners from the dental, aging, and disability fields in order to increase knowledge regarding issues and challenges related to dental services for older adults and people with disabilities.

Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges – The report provides a comprehensive snapshot of oral health in America, including an examination of oral health across the lifespan and a look at the impact the issue has on communities and the economy. There is a special section: Oral Health Across the Lifespan: Working Age and Older Adults with an accompanying fact sheet.

Rides In Sight provides information about senior transportation options in local communities throughout the United States. ITNAmerica researched communities nationwide to build a database of senior transportation options. Rides In Sight makes the information available to the public through this website and hotline. The Rides In Sight hotline is available Monday-Friday from 8AM-8PM Eastern Time (excluding holidays).

Santa Fe Group: A unique group of internationally renowned scholars and leaders from business and the professions bound by a common interest to improve oral health.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy and the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council: Healthy Aging in Action-Advancing the National Prevention Strategy - identifies recommendations and actions to promote healthy aging and improve health and well-being in later life. HAIA highlights federal and nonfederal policies and programs that reflect the National Prevention Strategy's approach of targeting prevention and wellness efforts to promote healthy aging to further advance the Strategy for an aging society. (November 2016)

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