• quality of life;
  • SF-36;
  • elderly;
  • number of teeth;
  • activities of daily living

Objective:  The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between number of remaining teeth and health-related quality of life in community-dwelling elderly.

Subjects:  A total of 207 participants who were community-dwelling, 85 years of age. Data were from a population-based study of age-related general and oral health in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.

Measurements:  The Japanese version of the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36).

Results:  The mental component score for the participants, from the SF-36, was higher than the Japanese national norm for those aged ≥70 years. There were no significant differences in the mean of any scores on the SF-36 by having spouse, living with family, or education level. The mean of the SF-36 scores of physical functioning (PF) and of the physical component scores were significantly higher in the 85-year-old participants with ≥20 teeth than in those with ≤19 teeth (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 respectively). In addition, a significant difference (p < 0.05) was observed between the mean of participants with ≥20 teeth and those with ≤19 teeth after adjustment for region where the participant lived, activities of daily living (ADL), and sex. The PF (p < 0.001), role-physical (p < 0.005), bodily pain (p < 0.001), vitality (p < 0.001), social functioning (p < 0.05), and physical component (p < 0.001) scores were significantly higher in participants with a good activities of daily living (ADL) assessment. However, ADL was not associated with the number of teeth.

Conclusions:  The findings of the present study indicated that 85-year-old participants with ≥20 teeth had better subjective physical health than those with ≤19 teeth.