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Indian J Dent Res. 2019 Mar-Apr;30(2):164-169. doi: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_491_17.

A study on impact of oral health on general health among the elderly residing in a slum of Kolkata: A cross-sectional study.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.



Oral health means more than only good teeth. It is a state-of-being-free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infections, periodontal diseases, tooth decay or loss, and other diseases/disorders. The age distribution of the world's population is changing. With advances in medicine, the proportion of older people continues to increase worldwide.

Aims, Setting, Materials and Methods:

A cross-sectional study was carried out among 158 elderly (>60 years) residing in a slum of Kolkata during the period from April 2017 to June 2017 to assess the impact of oral health on general health. Data were collected using a pretested predesigned schedule containing Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index. Data analysis was performed in R software. Poisson regression was used to find the associates of the impact of oral health.


Mean (standard deviation) age was 68.54 (5.9) years. A total of 104 (65.8%) participants reported; foul breath as a problem and 88 (55.7%) reported gum bleeding as a problem. All participants used to clean their teeth daily but only 36.1% used to clean their teeth at least twice daily. More than half the participants reported that they have limited the kind of food they eat due to dental/gum condition and trouble chewing.


There is a need to provide sensitive oral health services that are accessible, affordable, appropriate, and acceptable. Knowledge regarding oral health and hygiene should be provided to all elderly, especially diabetics. Further research with the broader conceptual framework, in different age groups and in different settings are warranted.


Elderly; Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index; Poisson regression; slum

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