Oral health status of a population of community-dwelling older Canadians

Gerodontology. 1995 Jul;12(1):41-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.1995.tb00129.x.


A sample of 170 responsive residents of seniors housing centres in Winnipeg, Canada, were studied, (>65 years, mean 82 years), with the objectives of relating their dental state to their perception of need and uptake of service. Only 6% rated their oral health as poor, 46% reported a dental visit within the previous year and 68% felt they needed dental treatment. A lack of perceived need (88%) was the primary reason why dental care was not sought more frequently. Hygiene practices revealed that only 7% brushed < 1 time/day, 60% never flossed, 14% cleaned their dentures <1 time/day, and 42% slept with their dentures. Dental histories showed that examination (94%), prosthodontic treatment (76%), and restorative services (65%) were the most commonly sought treatments. Perceived dental needs included prosthodontic treatment (39%), periodontal/prophylactic treatment (10%), restorative treatment (9%) and pain relief (9%). Study subjects had 2.8 decayed teeth, a DMFT of 25.1, and a Root Caries Index of 38%. CPITN scores of 3 or 4 in at least one sextant were found in 80% of subjects. Of the 41% edentulous, all wore complete dentures but 15% of complete upper dentures and 51% of complete lower dentures fitted poorly. Of the partial dentures, 20% fitted poorly. Soft tissue anomalies were seen in 67% of subjects and 47% had TMJ anomalies. Overall, 77% of edentulous subjects and all dentate subjects required some dental treatment even though 46% had seen a dentist within the preceding year. It is concluded that appropriate management of such people needs further attention.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Dental Care for Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dentures / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manitoba / epidemiology
  • Mouth, Edentulous / epidemiology*
  • Oral Health
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires