Background The self-report of oral health is an index of subjective functional, social and emotional well-being related to oral status, and is an important determinant of the demand for dental services. This study aimed to assess this outcome and associated factors among the elderly.
Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted with 876 participants in a representative sample of elders (65 years or older) in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. Dental examinations followed criteria standardised by the WHO for epidemiological surveys on oral health. The self-report of oral health used the GOHAI—Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index. Individuals were classified by socio-demographic characteristics, dental status and the prevalence of biological frailty. Data analysis used Poisson regression models, considering sample weights and the complex structure of cluster sampling.
Results Among participants, 18.3% preserved more than 20 teeth; 38.2% wore full dentures in both arches, 8.5% needed a denture in at least one dental arch. The average GOHAI index was high: 33.9 (maximum=36.0). Preserving more than 20 teeth, using denture in both arches, not needing such treatment, presenting with no alteration of oral mucosa and no signs of biological frailty were significantly associated with better self-perceived oral health (p<0.05).
Conclusions The assessment of self-perceived oral health allowed identifying the main factors that associate with this outcome. This tool may contribute to the planning of dental services, instructing strategies for health promotion aimed at an improved quality of life of people within this age group.
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