Introduction Population's ageing brings problems that confront health systems.
Objective Evaluate the oral health of elderly patients and their interference in depression symptoms.
Methodology Quantitative research applied for elderly of Reference Centers for Social Welfare in Fortaleza. Applied: Geriatric Depression Scale and an identification and epidemiological survey questionnaire. Software SPSS, version 15, computed the data.
Results 150 patients between 60 and 91 years old (mean 69.37 and SD ±7169) participated. Most patients were women, white race, widowhood, low educational level and family income. 54% was considered reasonable general health, 14.7% poor and 51.3% the same condition as last year. 66% were edentulous. Highlighted problems: tartar, inflamed gums, cavities, residual root, soft tissue injuries, prosthesis needs. Last year, only 20% visited the dentist. Main cited diseases: vision, hypertension, hearing, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatism and cholesterol. 10.7% were smokers and 69.3% used drugs. Symptoms of mild and severe depression were detected. Statistical association verified among depression symptoms with: perceived general health (p=0.003), osteoporosis (p=0.007). Depression and oral health: smoking (p=0.040), dry mouth (p=0.001), burning mouth (p=0.055), pain in the mouth (p=0.009), swelling of the mouth (p=0.001) and using prosthesis (p=0.005).
Conclusion Older people's oral health is poor and most show depressive symptoms. The consequences of teeth condition were significant with depressive problems, providing public health burden that must be considered by public policy.
- oral health
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