• Candida;
  • palatal mucosa;
  • salivary flow;
  • removable denture;
  • independently living elderly;
  • age;
  • symptom-free;
  • multiple logistic regression analysis;
  • geriatric dentistry;
  • epidemiology

summary The purpose of this study was to examine the amount of palatal mucosa Candida species associated with denture use and stimulated salivary flow in symptom-free adults over 60 years. The subjects were 351 (189 men and 162 women) independently living elderly people with a mean age of 66·7 ± 4·3 (SD) years. Candidal activity of palatal mucosa was evaluated by the pH change in the medium that was associated with the acid production of the yeast. Subjects whose stimulated salivary flow rate was less than 0.5ml/min were placed in the hyposalivation group. A multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine if an independent variable was statistically significant after controlling for other variables. Candidal activity of the palatal mucosa was significantly associated with the dental status of the maxillae (Kruskal-Wallis test, P < 0·001), but was not significantly associated with age or drug intake. In maxillary denture wearers, Candidal activity of palatal mucosa had a significantly positive correlation with candidal activity of tissue fitting surfaces of maxillary dentures (r = 0·806, P < 0·001). A multiple logistic regression analysis showed that high candidal activity of the palate was significantly associated with being male and wearing maxillary removable dentures. Stimulated salivary flow rate was likely to be negatively related to high candidal activity (P = 0·07). This study suggests that the activity of Candida species in the oral cavity is associated with the wearing of removable dentures and stimulated salivary flow, independent of age or gender even in the relatively healthy elderly.