Factors associated with the oral health status of patients with schizophrenia: A cross-sectional study

J Oral Rehabil. 2024 Apr;51(4):695-702. doi: 10.1111/joor.13632. Epub 2023 Dec 3.


Background: Oral function deterioration attributed to ageing and medications is one of the main contributory factors of dysphagia. Therefore, oral health management is essential in older patients with schizophrenia. However, no previous studies have evaluated the oral function in patients with schizophrenia.

Objective: We surveyed patients with schizophrenia to identify factors associated with ageing-related variations in oral function.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 34 male patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who were hospitalised at a psychiatric hospital between July and September 2021 and underwent a screening examination during dental care. The survey items included basic information, oral hygiene information, oral (oral diadochokinesis [ODK] and tongue pressure), physical function, and nutritional status. Thirty-six male community-dwelling older individuals were included as controls, and their outcomes were compared with those of patients with schizophrenia.

Results: Compared with healthy older adults, patients with schizophrenia demonstrated significantly lower teeth numbers, ODK, and calf circumference (CC) (p < .05). Multiple regression analysis revealed that ODK was associated with age and schizophrenia (p < .05). Conversely, tongue pressure was associated with CC (p < .05), suggesting different factors' association with the parameters indicating decreased oral function.

Conclusions: Our study findings suggest that older patients with schizophrenia have decreased tongue pressure and generalised muscle mass, highlighting the need to manage oral function. Interventions for tongue pressure were more strongly associated with muscle mass and could be easier to manage than those with disease-dependent changes in ODK.

Trial registration: Retrospectively registered.

Keywords: older adults; oral function; oral health; patients with schizophrenia; psychiatric hospital; tongue pressure.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Health*
  • Pressure
  • Schizophrenia*
  • Tongue