Gerodontology 2012; doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2012.00673.x
Functional tooth units and nutritional status of older people in care homes in Indonesia
Objectives: To investigate the relationship between functional tooth units (FTUs) and nutritional status.
Methods: One hundred females (mean age: 72.4 ± 8.2 years) at four private care homes in Jakarta, Indonesia were interviewed and clinically examined. The oral examination included the assessment of teeth, prosthetic status, and number of FTUs. The total number of FTUs was further divided by tooth composition: natural tooth against natural tooth (NN-FTUs), natural tooth against denture (ND-FTUs), and denture against denture (DD-FTUs). Nutritional status was evaluated using the body mass index (BMI) and the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA).
Results: The mean numbers of teeth present, NN-FTUs, ND-FTUs, DD-FTUs, and total FTUs were 13.1 ± 10.4, 1.7 ± 3.0, 1.2 ± 3.3, 0.4 ± 1.2 and 3.3 ± 4.4, respectively. The mean BMI and MNA scores were 24.8 ± 5.0 and 22.6 ± 2.8, respectively. Subjects with a normal BMI had a significantly higher total number of FTUs (3.6 ± 4.6) compared with underweight subjects (0.1 ± 0.3). Subjects with a normal MNA had a significantly higher number of NN-FTU (2.6 ± 3.7) compared to those who were at risk or in a state of under-nutrition (1.2 ± 2.4).
Conclusion: This study revealed significant relationships between the number of FTUs and nutritional status. Keeping the posterior occlusion should be emphasized in order to maintain good nutritional status in older subjects.