Get access

Oral health patterns of independently living dentate older people: a cross-sectional survey of dental attendees in south-east London

Authors

  • Mustafa Al-Haboubi,

    1. Unit of Oral Health Services Research and Dental Public Health, King's College London Dental Institute at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas's Hospitals, London, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Liana Zoitopoulos,

    1. Department of Community Special Care Dentistry, King's College London Dental Institute at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas's Hospitals, London, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David Beighton,

    1. Department of Microbiology, King's College London Dental Institute at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas's Hospitals, London, UK
    2. Department of Oral Biology, Leeds Dental Institute, University of Leeds, Clarendon Way, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jennifer Gallagher

    Corresponding author
    1. Unit of Oral Health Services Research and Dental Public Health, King's College London Dental Institute at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas's Hospitals, London, UK
    • Correspondence to:

      Jennifer E Gallagher, Unit of Oral Health Services and Dental Public Health, King's College London Dental Institute at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas's Hospitals, Denmark Hill Campus, Caldecot Road, London SE5 9RW, UK.

      Tel.: ++44 (0)20 3299 3481

      Fax: ++44 (0)20 3299 3409

      E-mail: jenny.gallagher@kcl.ac.uk

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Background

The oral health needs of older adults present increasing challenges to dental services.

Objectives

To examine the clinical oral health status of dentate older people living in the community and attending dental services.

Methods

One hundred and eighty-six dentate adults, aged ≥60 years, underwent clinical examination (DMFS, Plaque and Gingival Indexes), salivary analysis and completed a questionnaire.

Results

Participants had an average of 21.4 (±6.2) teeth present and 1.2 (±3.0) decayed, 51.0 (±28.8) missing and 32.6 (±20.5) restored surfaces. Individuals living in the most deprived areas had significantly lower numbers of teeth than those in the least deprived areas (19.1 ± 7.5 cf 23.8 ± 4.1; p < 0.001). Whilst there were no significant differences in DMFS score, residents in the most deprived areas had significantly more missing and fewer filled surfaces than those in the least deprived areas (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Participants with ≥21 teeth (64%) had lower plaque scores, fewer decayed root surfaces, higher stimulated saliva flow rates and lower salivary lactobacilli and yeast counts than those with <21 teeth (p < 0.05 for all).

Conclusions

The findings highlight differences in clinical oral health by age and deprivation status and underline the importance of saliva and retaining a functional dentition.

Ancillary