Oral microbial flora and oral malodour of the institutionalised elderly in Japan


Dr Honda Eiki, Department of Geriatric Dentistry Tsurumi University School of Dental Medicine 230–8501 Yokohamashi Tsurumiki Tsurumi 2-1-3 Japan Tel: +81 45 581 1001 ext 8409 Fax: +81 45 573 5995 e-mail: honda-eiki@tsurumi-u.ac.jp


Objectives: To determine the oral health status, especially the level of oral microbial flora and oral malodour, of institutionalised elderly people compared with non-institutionalised elderly people.

Setting: Three institutions and numerous private homes.

Subjects: 56 institutionalised and 56 non-institutionalised elderly people.

Main Outcome Measures: Institutionalised elderly people had higher levels of Candida, staphylococci, and oral malodour.

Results: Institutionalised elderly people had a higher level of Candida in denture wearers, and a higher level of staphylococci and oral malodour compared with the non-institutionalised elderly.

Conclusion: The institutionalised elderly have a higher risk of opportunistic infections and oral health care should be improved to protect them from these infections and to reduce oral malodour.