J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2016 Mar;40(1):43-48. 10.11149/jkaoh.2016.40.1.43.

Associations between remaining teeth and salivary flow, activity of daily living, and cognitive impairment among the elderly in a rural area: A pilot study

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Science & Technology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
  • 3Department of Dentistry, Yeugnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
  • 4Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. cyh1001@knu.ac.kr

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The purpose
of this study was to assess the associations between oral health, activity of daily living, and cognitive impairment among elderly people who live at home in a rural area.
METHODS
A total of 183 participants older than 70 years of age were recruited from a public health center in a rural Korean city. Trained examiners conducted questionnaire surveys and at-home oral exams to assess oral health, geriatric function, and cognitive impairment. Oral health was assessed by counting remaining teeth and examining salivary flow. Geriatric function and cognitive impairment were assessed using the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA), the Mini-Mental State Examination for Dementia Screening (MMSE-DS), and an activity of daily living (ADL) questionnaire.
RESULTS
Mean age (SD) of the participants was 83.77 (5.99) years and 68.9% of them were women. The participants who had a lower number of remaining teeth were significantly older, had severe cognitive impairment, and poor ADL and MNA results. The participants with severe cognitive impairment were significantly older and had fewer remaining teeth and low salivary flow. Simple linear regression analysis showed an association between remaining teeth and cognitive impairment with a P-value of 0.000, which disappeared after adjusting for sex and age or sex, age, denture use, and salivary flow, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
Possible associations between remaining teeth and salivary flow, activity of daily living, and cognitive impairment were discovered among some elderly people living in a rural area.

Keyword

Activity of daily living; Cognitive impairment; Remaining teeth; Salivary flow
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