Mouth dryness as reported by older Floridians

Authors

  • Gregg H. Gilbert,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL, USA
    2. Claude Pepper Center for Research on Oral Health in Aging, University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL, USA
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  • Marc W. Heft,

    1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL, USA
    2. Claude Pepper Center for Research on Oral Health in Aging, University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL, USA
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  • R. Paul Duncan

    1. Claude Pepper Center for Research on Oral Health in Aging, University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL, USA
    2. Department of Health Services Administration, University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL, USA
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Dr. Gregg H. Gilbert, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Florida Health Science Center, P.O. Box 100416. Gainesville, FL 32610-0416. USA

Abstract

Abstract –Thirty-nine percent of 600 community-dwelling older Floridians (mean age of 78 yr) reported having mouth dryness. Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported at least one medical condition, 57% were taking at least one prescribed or over-the-counter medication, and 33% were taking at least one potentially xerostomic medication. Reported mouth dryness was highly associated with the number of potentially xerostomic medications. After stratification by medication usage, age, diabetes, arthritis, perceived medical health, and dependence in physical functioning were significantly associated with mouth dryness. Persons with dry mouth were also more likely to have reported dental symptoms, signs of dental disease, sensory changes, and other oral symptoms. Ten percent of those who reported mouth dryness also said that their mouths felt dry when eating a meal, 10% said that they had difficulties swallowing foods, and 15% of persons with dry mouth also said that the amount of saliva in their mouths was too little. Sixty-five percent of persons with dry mouth reported doing one or more dryness-related behaviors. These results suggest that the prevalence of xerostomia was high, and the impact of dry mouth on individuals’daily behaviors was significant.

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