Oral health in nursing home residents with different cognitive statuses

Gerodontology. 2013 Mar;30(1):49-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2012.00644.x. Epub 2012 Feb 26.


Objective: To compare oral health in nursing home (NH) residents with different cognitive statuses.

Background: Oral health is a significant issue for NH residents because of its relationships to quality of life, systemic health and well-being. It is known that oral health is poor in NH residents. However, how oral health differs in NH residents with different cognitive statuses remains unclear.

Materials and methods: Nine hundred and two NH residents were retrospectively recruited from a community-based geriatric dental clinic in Minnesota, USA. Comprehensive medical, dental, cognitive and functional assessments were completed for the participants. On the basis of medical history and cognitive status, participants were categorized into three groups: without cognitive impairment (non-impaired group), with cognitive impairment but no dementia (impaired group) and with dementia (demented group). ANOVA, Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare medical, dental and functional statuses between groups.

Results: Oral hygiene was poor in NH residents. Forty per cent of participants in the impaired group were edentulous, significantly higher than the edentulism rate in the demented group (29%, p = 0.01). More than 60% of the participants lost 16 or more teeth prior to examination. Depending on their cognitive status, 82-92% of the participants arrived with one or more caries or retained root. Dentate participants in the impaired and demented groups averaged about six caries or retained roots, significantly more than 4.7 caries or retained roots in the non-impaired group (p = 0.01).

Conclusion: Oral health was poor but slightly different in NH residents with different cognitive and functional statuses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology
  • Dental Restoration, Permanent / statistics & numerical data
  • Dentures / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Mouth, Edentulous / epidemiology
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Oral Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Care
  • Tooth Loss / epidemiology