Purpose: To identify the oral hygiene habits and denture hygiene status (e.g. sociodemographic characteristics, general health status) of complete denture wearers in Central Transylvania, Romania.
Materials and methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was based on an original self-administered questionnaire. It included 162 patients who experienced complete tooth loss in one or both jaws and wore polymethylmethacrylate acrylic (PMMA) complete dentures. The exclusion criteria were partial dentures, dentures fabricated from materials other than PMMA, and the patient being unable to provide all the required information. The questionnaire solicited information regarding sociodemographic status, general health and oral hygiene-related habits. The dentures were clinically evaluated in order to assess denture hygiene.
Results: Most respondents were completely edentulous (38.0% wore maxillary dentures, 10.6% mandibular dentures, while 51.6% had both), with an average age above 60, all wearing dentures. The clinical evaluation of the dentures revealed that 12.3% exhibited optimal hygiene status, 40.1% good, 32.7% unsatisfactory and 14.8% bad, with more women than men having well-cleaned dentures. Cleaning frequency was found to be 2-3 times per day for 54.3% of the patients, with 93.2% of the subjects using a toothbrush and 76.5% using toothpaste. Most of the participants felt at ease with the cleaning procedures. Only 30.9% of the respondents reported denture removal overnight. The results showed that the hygiene of the patients' dentures was not correlated with their answers regarding oral hygiene habits.
Conclusions: Competent oral health and denture hygiene promotion should be established, especially regarding nocturnal denture removal, denture hygiene methods, instruments and cleaning frequency.
Keywords: complete dentures; denture cleaners; nocturnal wear; oral hygiene habits; stomatitis.