Impact of dry mouth conditions on oral health-related quality of life in older people

Gerodontology. 2005 Dec;22(4):219-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2005.00087.x.


Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of dry mouth conditions on oral health-related quality of life in frail old people, residents at community care centers. Further, reliability and validity of a visual analogue scale (VAS) for dry mouth symptoms were determined within the study cohort.

Background: In old people functional, social and psychological impacts of oral conditions are associated with an overall sense of well being and general health. Subjective dry mouth and reduced saliva flow are common disorders in old people caused by disease and medication. Thus, dry mouth conditions may be determinants for compromised oral health-related quality of life in old people.

Method: In total, 50 old people living at service homes for the old people were asked to answer questionnaires on subjective dry mouth (VAS) and Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP14) for oral health-related quality of life. Saliva flow was estimated by absorbing saliva into a pre-weighed cotton roll.

Results: The final study cohort comprised 41 old people (aged 83-91 years). Significant associations were identified between both objective and subjective dry mouth and overall or specific aspects of oral health-related quality of life.

Conclusion: Dry mouth (objective and subjective) is significantly associated with oral health-related quality of life strengthening the value of monitoring dry mouth conditions in the care of frail old people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cohort Studies
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Eating / physiology
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastication / physiology
  • Oral Health*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Secretory Rate / physiology
  • Speech / physiology
  • Taste / physiology
  • Xerostomia / physiopathology*