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Gerodontology. 2012 Sep;29(3):214-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2011.00617.x. Epub 2012 Apr 9.

Oral health status in elders from South Brazil: a population-based study.

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Departments of Conservative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.



To assess the oral health status of community-dwelling adults aged 60 years and older from southern Brazil and to determine demographics, socioeconomic, behavioural and dental risk indicators.


This cross-sectional study used a multistage, probability sampling method to draw a representative sample of the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre, Brazil. A subsample of 217 subjects was included in this analysis. Oral mucosal lesions, dental caries, tooth loss and periodontal status (full-mouth, six sites per tooth exam) were assessed by calibrated examiners.


Prevalence of edentulism was 39.5%, and mean tooth loss was 20.2 (SE = 0.6). Older individuals [Odds Ratio (OR) = 2.2], women (OR = 2.3), white people (OR = 5.9), individuals of lower socioeconomic status (OR = 5.6) and smokers (OR = 3.5) had higher likelihood of being edentulous. Approximately 36% of dentate individuals had caries and/or restoration affecting, in average, 5.0 teeth. Periodontitis affected 79% of subjects, and it was associated with older age (OR = 4.0), men (OR = 3.4) and large amounts of supragingival plaque (OR = 3.0).


Poor oral health was observed in this elderly population from South Brazil. Sociodemographic disparities accounted for most of the burden of disease and treatment needs.

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