Relationship between oral hygiene practices and oral status in dentate elderly people living in residential homes

Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2001 Dec;29(6):464-70. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0528.2001.290608.x.


Objectives: To investigate the relationship between the oral hygiene practices of dentate elderly people living in residential homes, their requests for assistance and their oral health status.

Methods: 164 people (81.2+/-7.4 years) participated in an interview and oral examination, and provided a stimulated saliva sample.

Results: The mean number of coronal decayed surfaces (CDS) was 2.4+/-5.9, stimulated salivary levels (log(10)cfu/ml) of mutans streptococci, lactobacilli and yeasts were 1.6+/-2.1, 3.0+/-2.2, 2.1+/-1.7, respectively, and 53% had root decayed surfaces (RDS). Plaque (PI) and gingival (GI) Indices were 2.3+/-0.7 and 1.6+/-0.4 and denture debris scores (DDS) were high. 31% of the population cleaned their mouths twice daily without requesting help and they had significantly fewer yeasts, RDS, restorations on root surfaces, lower PI, GI (P<0.005) and DDS (P<0.0001) than the 69% who cleaned less often. 50% of those who cleaned less frequently requested assistance with oral hygiene but only 5% said that their carers supported them. Those residents who requested help had significantly higher levels of yeasts, lactobacilli (P<0.001), retained roots, DDS, RDS (P<0.005), PI and GI (P<0.0001).

Conclusion: The elderly residents' perceived need for assistance with oral hygiene was related directly to oral hygiene status and to clinical indicators of mucosal and dental diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Caregivers
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / classification
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent
  • Dentures
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / growth & development
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Oral Health*
  • Oral Hygiene Index
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Residential Facilities
  • Root Caries / classification
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Streptococcus mutans / growth & development
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Yeasts / growth & development