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Keywords:

  • oral health quality of I life;
  • GOHAI;
  • functional dentition;
  • older I adults

ABSTRACT

There is limited information regarding oral health status and other predictors of oral health-related quality of life. An association between oral health status and perceived oral health-related quality of life (OHQOL) might help clinicians motivate patients to prevent oral diseases and improve the outcome of some dental public health programs. This study evaluated the relationship between older persons' OHQOL and their functional dentition, caries, periodontal status, chronic diseases, and some demographic characteristics. A group of 733 low-income elders (mean age 72.7 ISD=4.71, 55.6% women, 55.1% members of ethnic minority groups in the U.S. and Canada) enrolled in the TEETH clinical trial were interviewed and examined as part of their fifth annual visit for the trial. OHQOL was measured by the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI); oral health and occlusal status by clinical exams and the Eichner Index; and demographics via interviews. Elders who completed the four-year assessment had an average of 21.5 teeth (SD=6.9). with 8.5 occluding pairs (SD=4.6), and 32% with occlusal contacts in all four occluding zones. Stepwise multiple regressions were conducted to predict total GOHAI and its subscores (Physical, Social, and Worry). Functional dentition was a less significant predictor than ethnicity and being foreign-bom. These variables, together with gender, years since immigrating, number of carious roots, and periodontal status, could predict 32% of the variance in total GOHAI, 24% in Physical, 27% in Social, and 21 % in the Worry subscales. These findings suggest that functional dentition and caries influence older adults' OHQOL, but that ethnicity and immigrant status play a larger role.