Salivary factors and dental plaque levels in relation to the general health of elderly residents in a long-term care facility: a pilot study

Spec Care Dentist. 2011 Jan-Feb;31(1):27-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.2010.00172.x. Epub 2010 Dec 28.


The goal of this study was to examine salivary factors and formation of dental plaque in elderly subjects who were institutionalized and to relate these factors to general health and medication use. This cross-sectional study consisted of 50 elderly individuals who were institutionalized and 25 healthy young volunteers who served as a reference group. For each subject, salivary flow rates, salivary pH, and buffering capacity were assessed. Baseline Plaque Index and Plaque Formation Rate Index were used as a measure of oral hygiene. Information on each patient's general health and medication use was acquired from the institution. An evaluation of the results of this study suggests that salivary protective qualities and dental plaque levels in the elderly subjects who were institutionalized were worse than in healthy young individuals. An association between the general health of the elderly and salivary flow rate was found.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Plaque*
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polypharmacy
  • Risk Factors
  • Saliva* / chemistry
  • Saliva* / metabolism
  • Saliva* / physiology
  • Salivation / drug effects
  • Secretory Rate
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Young Adult