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Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Oct;97(41):e12490. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000012490.

Oral health condition and occurrence of depression in the elderly.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry and Pedodontics.
Department of Periodontology, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland.


Depression is a common disorder among the elderly; however, it is not a standard element of the ageing process. Depression can affect oral health as a result of neglecting oral hygiene procedures, cariogenic nutrition, avoidance of necessary dental care which leads to an increased risk of dental caries and periodontal disease.Assessment of the relationship of oral health parameters with depression.500 subjects aged ≥65 (mean 74.4 ± 7.4) were involved in the study. Dental condition (decay-missing-filled index [DMFT], number of missing teeth [MT], removable denture wearing, teeth mobility), periodontal condition (bleeding on probing [BoP], pocket depth [PD], loss of attachment), oral dryness (the Challacombe Scale) and depression according to the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) scale were assessed.Depression on a minimal level was detected in 60.2% of the subjects, mild-in 22.2%, moderate-in 6.0% and moderately-in 2.6%. The mean of the PHQ-9 scale was 3.56 ± 4.07. Regression analysis showed a positive relationship of the PHQ-9 value with DMFT, the number of MT, oral dryness and with age. No correlation was observed between other examined oral health indicators, such as periodontal condition (BoP, PD, clinical attachment level), periodontitis, removable denture wearing a PHQ-9.The results of our study have shown that among people aged 65 and over, the severity of depression increases with a higher number of MT, the number of decayed teeth, as well as prevalence of oral dryness.

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