Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2000 , Vol 3, Issue 1
Hacettepe Üniversitesi Diş hekimliği Fakültesi, Periodontoloji Anabilim Dalı Ankara The present study was planned to assess; the clinical characteristics of oral, periodontal and dental structures in individuals who were 65 and over, to elucidate the relationship between the clinical findings and the medical and dental history of these subjects. The results were also compared with those of the middle aged control group. A total of 105 subjects were selected for the geriatric group and the control group consisted of 30 subjects with ages ranging from 35 to 45. A comprehensive medical and dental history was obtained from all the subjects concerned. Extraoral examination included the skin and the TMJ. Oral cavity was examined for mucosal lesions, materia alba, halitosis, attrition, bruxism and fixed and/or removable prosthetic restorations. Moreover, the percentages of the missing teeth as well as the teeth with the fixed restorations and gingival recessions were calculated for each subject. %59 of the geriatric subjects and 23.3% of the controls have been on continuous drug therapy. Cardiovascular diseases were found to be the most common medical problem in the geriatric group, whereas control subjects were mostly affected by endocrinal disorders. The majority of the geriatric subjects (77.1%) reported that they could not brush their teeth at all. in the control group, the percentage of the subjects who didn't brush their teeth was 33.3%. Hyperpigmented skin areas were found to be higher in the geriatric group than the control group. Similarly, oral mucosal lesions, materia alba and halitosis were more common findings in the geriatric group compared to the control group. Dental examination revealed that attrition, gingival recession, teeth loss and fixed and/or removable dentures were significantly higher in the elderly than the middle aged subjects. Our findings suggest that insufficient oral hygiene and lack of professional care in elderly may result in numerous oral and dental health problems. We believe that the teeth and mucosal tissues in elderly may be protected by motivation of oral hygiene and periodic control visits. We also assume that this approach may contribute to maintenance of general health. Keywords : Elderly, Oral health, Teeth, Gingiva, Denture