Introduction Evidence suggests that tooth loss may lead to changes in food choice due to eating difficulties. The relationship between use of dental prosthesis and changes in body mass index among elderly is still unclear. This study aimed at assessing the association between oral rehabilitation, self-perceived chewing ability and nutritional status in Brazilian elderly.
Methods This study is part of a major project—the FIBRA study—carried out in Campinas, Brazil. The sample of this cross-sectional study was composed by 900 independent-living older people. Complete data were available for 545 persons. Dental prosthesis was assessed in accordance with the WHO criteria. Height and weight were used to generate body mass index (BMI) data. The data regarding dental prosthesis use and self-perceived limitation in the type or amount of food intake due to problems with prostheses or their lack generated a new variable, oral status. Participants were categorised into eutrophic, underweight or overweight/obesity. Multinomial logistic regression was used to model the relationship between oral status with underweight and overweight/obesity.
Results The mean age was 72.7 years and the prevalence of overweight/obesity was 41.4%. Oral status wasn't associated with underweight. Participants who reported using prostheses in both arches with self-perceived limitation in the type or amount of food intake and subjects that rated their oral health as good were less likely to be overweight/obese.
Conclusions Our findings suggest that dental prosthesis use with self-perceived limitation in food intake is associated with overweight/obesity but not with underweight.
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