Oral mucosal conditions in elderly dental patients

A Jainkittivong, V Aneksuk, R P Langlais
Oral Diseases 2002, 8 (4): 218-23

OBJECTIVES: The goals of this study were as follows: to obtain baseline information on the incidence of oral mucosal conditions in a population of elderly Thai patients and to investigate differences in the presentation of these findings in relation to age, sex and the wearing of dentures.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The incidence of oral mucosal conditions was determined by the clinical examination of a sample of 500 Thai patients aged 60 years and older.

RESULTS: The overall incidence of oral mucosal conditions was 83.6% with no significant difference between men (81.4%) and women (85%). The incidence of oral mucosal conditions indicated a significant increase with advancing age. Varices (59.6%), fissured tongue (28%) and traumatic ulcer (15.6%) were the three most common conditions; and the incidence increased with age. Leukoplakia and smoker's melanosis were more common in men whereas lichen planus was seen more frequently in women. Three cases of oral cancer were detected, representing an incidence of 0.6%. Denture wearers (62.7%) exhibited a significantly higher prevalence of oral mucosal conditions than subjects who had no dentures (28.5%) and subjects with crowns and/or bridges (8.8%). The three most common denture-related problems were traumatic ulcer (22.6%), denture stomatitis (14.3%) and angular cheilitis (4.8%). In addition, the incidence of denture-related conditions among complete denture wearers (46.3%) was higher than in those wearing partial dentures (40.8%).

CONCLUSION: The current results regarding an elderly Thai population support the studies of other populations whereby the incidence of oral mucosal conditions in the elderly is related to age, sex and the wearing of dentures.

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