The Older Adult without Teeth: An Aging Paradox from Positive Discourse


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Healthy Aging
mouth diseases
tooth loss
oral health
public health dentistry
dental care for aged
geriatric dentistry
edentulous mouth
edentulous jaw
health of the elderly
active aging
positive aging

How to Cite

Gutiérrez, B. (2023). The Older Adult without Teeth: An Aging Paradox from Positive Discourse: Vida sem dentes e envelhecimento positivo. Revista Guillermo De Ockham, 21(1), 357–372. (Original work published December 7, 2022)


Edentulism is an irreversible condition, dental loss found a connection whit the positive discourses of aging that have gained strength at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, limiting processes of social participation, generating changes in quality of life, having a strong articulation with the biological relationships of people and being highly inequitable between social groups. Given the above, this article develops three key ideas to argue the fact that the development of aging from the positive discourse is limited without teeth in the oral cavity, the first is that life without teeth limits the development personal and social, the next is that the connection of the oral cavity with biological conditions is very close and the third is the stereotyping and judgment of the old edentulous in today’s society. The argued ideas could establish that it is necessary to give importance to the condition of being edentulous within the framework of positive aging and as an intervention in public health. Aging well is the flag of world policies, including the decade of Healthy Aging (2020-2030); the understanding and cohesion of health in all its disciplines is transcendental in favor of the current elders and the achievement of the gerotranscendence. Geriatrics, gerontology, public health, and even dentistry itself, today more than ever must work towards mitigating the appearance of edentulism in today's societies.
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