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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-16

Oral health problems among geriatric population and its implication on general health: A cross-sectional survey

1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vydehi Institute of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Kottayam, Kerala, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
B K Sujatha
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vydehi Institute of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_26_17

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Background: Aging is a natural process seen in all the individuals. The world is on the brink of a demographic milestone. Since the beginning of recorded history, young children have outnumbered their elders. In about 5 years' time, the number of people aged 65 or older will outnumber children under age 5. Driven by falling fertility rates and remarkable increases in life expectancy, population aging will continue, even accelerate the number of people aged 65 or older is projected to grow from an estimated 524 million in 2010 to nearly 1.5 billion in 2050, with most of the increase in developing countries. India being developing as well as a second highest populated country will be affected badly by both general as well as oral diseases which are noncommunicable in nature. Aim: The aim of the study was to assess oral health problems among geriatric population in a dental institution and its effect on general health. Objectives: The objectives of the study were (1) Common oral diseases/conditions among geriatric population and its prevalence and (2) implications of oral diseases/conditions on general health. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 301 study participants of 65–74 years old from March 2016 to August 2016. A self-structured, pretested questionnaire was used to collect data on common oral health problems as well as systemic diseases along with demographic details. Data were compiled and statistically analyzed using Chi-square test and other descriptive statistics. Results: Out of 301 study participants, 42% were edentulous, 12% had denture-related problems, 16% had root caries, 22% had periodontal disease, and 8% were found to have precancerous lesions. Thirty percent of participants were found to have a combination of two or more oral diseases. Most common systemic diseases reported are malnutrition, hypertension, and diabetes. The implication of oral health on general health was found to be significant at P< 0.05. Conclusion: Oral diseases influence general health. Oral health is an integral part of general health.

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