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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2001 Dec;29(6):464-70.

Relationship between oral hygiene practices and oral status in dentate elderly people living in residential homes.

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Dental Department, Principal Health Centre, Civic Close, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3LA, UK.



To investigate the relationship between the oral hygiene practices of dentate elderly people living in residential homes, their requests for assistance and their oral health status.


164 people (81.2+/-7.4 years) participated in an interview and oral examination, and provided a stimulated saliva sample.


The mean number of coronal decayed surfaces (CDS) was 2.4+/-5.9, stimulated salivary levels (log(10)cfu/ml) of mutans streptococci, lactobacilli and yeasts were 1.6+/-2.1, 3.0+/-2.2, 2.1+/-1.7, respectively, and 53% had root decayed surfaces (RDS). Plaque (PI) and gingival (GI) Indices were 2.3+/-0.7 and 1.6+/-0.4 and denture debris scores (DDS) were high. 31% of the population cleaned their mouths twice daily without requesting help and they had significantly fewer yeasts, RDS, restorations on root surfaces, lower PI, GI (P<0.005) and DDS (P<0.0001) than the 69% who cleaned less often. 50% of those who cleaned less frequently requested assistance with oral hygiene but only 5% said that their carers supported them. Those residents who requested help had significantly higher levels of yeasts, lactobacilli (P<0.001), retained roots, DDS, RDS (P<0.005), PI and GI (P<0.0001).


The elderly residents' perceived need for assistance with oral hygiene was related directly to oral hygiene status and to clinical indicators of mucosal and dental diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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