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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2001 Jun;29(3):195-203.

Prevalence of impacts of dental and oral disorders and their effects on eating among older people; a national survey in Great Britain.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Medical School, UK.



The objective was to assess the prevalence, in a British population aged 65 years and older, of oral health related impacts and the effects they had on the quality of daily life and in particular on eating.


753 free living and 202 institutionalised subjects aged 65 years and over, participating in the oral health survey of the British National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS), had a dental examination and interview. Data on the impact of dental and oral disorders on the activities of daily living based upon the modified Oral Impacts on Daily Performance (OIDP) indicator were collected.


17% of the free living edentate participants reported that their mouth affected their pattern of daily living on a regular basis. Oral impacts levels were lowest in dentate subjects with the greatest number of teeth. For the dentate, the most common oral impacts were on eating and speaking. Impacts relating to emotional stability, sleeping, relaxing, carrying out physical activity and social contact were very infrequent, but were severe when they did occur. Among those with an impact on eating, 25% said it was severe and 42% had the impact nearly every day or in a spell of 3 or more months. Oral impacts were more prevalent among the institution sample, particularly the dentate. The impacts were associated with the inability or difficulty to eat a range of 16 common foods.


This survey has shown that the oral status of older people fairly frequently affects the quality of life of older people, and in particular, the ability to eat several common types of foods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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