Dementia has become a key issue in aged care. It is estimated that 167,000 Australians had dementia in 2002, leading to dementia being a major cause of disease burden. This publication reports on an investigation of the oral health status of community-dwelling older dentate adults in Adelaide, South Australia with and without dementia. Older adults with dementia had higher levels of dental disease and their oral health deteriorated faster over a one-year follow-up period compared to those without dementia. Older adults with dementia also faced barriers to adequate dental care, identifying the need for improved strategies for the provision of regular oral assessment, oral hygiene care and dental treatment.