NZDA23 Conf Digi Screens 1920x1080 06

Prof Murray Thomson

NZDA23 Murray Thomson

Emeritus Professor Murray Thomson is a 1981 Otago BDS graduate. Early in his career, he worked as a general dental surgeon in NZ and England. Following further study in both countries, he worked as a public health dentist based in Palmerston North for seven years. His academic research career commenced in Adelaide in 1994, and he moved to Otago in 1996. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2022, he is a prolific and very experienced researcher in dental epidemiology and health services who has made sustained contributions in a number of fields, through almost 450 published papers. His work in the renowned Dunedin Study has enhanced understanding of oral health through life. He has made important contributions to understanding of the oral health of the ageing population, and of the effectiveness of dental care in improving the lives of children and their families. He has developed widely-used xerostomia measures for use in clinical practice and research. He is a very experienced postgraduate research supervisor, with 90 Doctoral and Masters theses completed to date. Currently Editor-in-Chief for Gerodontology, he has provided many years of service as an Editor-in-Chief for international scientific journals.

Dentist scientific programme

Oral Health Through Life: Findings and Reflections From Three Decades of Life Course Research

Although we are all ageing chronologically at the same rate, there is wide variation in biological ageing. The chronic conditions of old age do not suddenly manifest themselves; instead, they have involved decades of subclinical organ system decline. The pace at which someone ages is a critical determinant of their health in old age. In this presentation, I will share our findings on the pace of ageing and on the oral health of older people, underlining the need for caution in interpreting associations observed in old age between aspects of oral and general health.