• oral health;
  • psychiatric patients;
  • hospitalised;
  • elderly

doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2012.00633.x

Oral health status of elderly hospitalised psychiatric patients

Objectives:  This study investigated the oral health status of an elderly mentally ill population hospitalised in a psychogeriatric ward in Athens.

Materials and methods:  A structured interview recorded sociodemographic and dental data, and an oral examination recorded the status of oral tissues and the existing dentures. The patients’ medical records were examined by a hospital’s physician.

Results:  One hundred and eleven patients with a mean age of 73 years participated in the study. Almost half of them suffered from schizophrenia. Forty percent were completely edentulous but only 38.6% of them used a pair of dentures. The dentate had an average of 12.9 teeth, 50.7% of them had at least one decayed tooth, 44.8% needed at least one extraction, and only 26.7% had filled teeth. The dental hygiene was poor in 83.6% of the patients. More than 60% of the dentures had a defect. Multiple regression analyses showed that increasing age and dementia were significantly related to fewer remaining teeth, and the use of atypical antipsychotics was related to fewer caried teeth.

Conclusion:  The oral health of the elderly psychiatric patients was very poor. Access to dental care should improve, and the health care staff should be trained to identify oral problems.