Oral hygiene of elderly people in long-term care institutions – a cross-sectional study
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2006
Volume 23, Issue 4, pages 195–204, December 2006
How to Cite
De Visschere, L. M., Grooten, L., Theuniers, G. and Vanobbergen, J. N. (2006), Oral hygiene of elderly people in long-term care institutions – a cross-sectional study. Gerodontology, 23: 195–204. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2006.00139.x
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2006
- Accepted 14 August 2006
- oral hygiene;
- institutionalised of elderly people;
- nursing staff
Objective: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the level of oral hygiene in elderly people living in long-term care institutions and to investigate the relationship between institutional and individual characteristics, and the observed oral cleanliness.
Materials and methods: Clinical outcome variables, denture plaque and dental plaque were gathered from 359 older people (14%) living in 19 nursing homes. Additional data were collected by a questionnaire filled out by all health care workers employed in the nursing homes.
Results: Only 128 (36%) residents had teeth present in one or both dental arches. About half of the residents (47%) wore complete dentures. The mean dental plaque score was 2.17 (maximum possible score = 3) and the mean denture plaque score was 2.13 (maximum possible score = 4). Significantly more plaque was observed on the mucosal surface of the denture with a mean plaque score of 2.33 vs. 1.93 on the buccal surface (p < 0.001). In the multiple analyses only the degree of dependency on an individual level was found to be significantly correlated with the outcome dental plaque (odds ratio: 3.09) and only the management of the institution with denture plaque (odds ratio: 0.43).
Conclusion: Oral hygiene was poor, both for dentures and remaining teeth in residents in long-term care institutions and only the degree of dependency of the residents and the management of the institutions was associated with the presence of dental plaque and denture plaque respectively.