OBJECTIVES: The Kungsholmen Elders Oral Health Study (KEOHS) evaluated the oral health status of generally healthy, community-dwelling persons over the age of 80 living in Kungsholmen, an area in central Stockholm. This paper reports findings regarding the prevalence and severity of dental caries among the dentate participants. BASIC RESEARCH DESIGN: Caries examinations were conducted on eligible persons participating in the Kungsholmen Project, an ongoing, longitudinal study of older adults. SETTING: Caries examinations were carried out between 1994 and 1996 at two local clinics by three standardised examiners using defined visual, tactile criteria. PARTICIPANTS: Among 296 potentially eligible participants, 159 were examined, and a total of 129 had at least one tooth. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The caries examination identified decayed and filled surfaces and missing teeth. RESULTS: Of the dentate subjects examined, 80% had teeth in both arches; 98% had at least one coronal filling; 81% had one or more restored root surfaces. Depending upon age and gender, between 36% and 56% of those examined had untreated coronal caries, and between 54% and 75% had untreated root caries. CONCLUSIONS: These findings document the substantial and ongoing impact of dental caries in a sample of generally healthy, community-dwelling older adults and underscore the importance of continued caries prevention and treatment in the aged.
Inflammation plays a significant role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Studies have shown that systemic, peripheral infections affect AD patients. Cognitive dysfunction is a consistent finding in AD and periodontal disease is a chronic, peripheral infection often resulting in tooth loss. We hypothesized that older adults with periodontal inflammation (PI) or many missing teeth would show impaired cognition compared to subjects without PI or with few missing teeth, and among subjects with PI, those with many missing teeth would show impaired cognition compared to those with few missing teeth. The effect of PI/tooth loss on cognitive function [measured by Digit Symbol (DST) and Block Design (BDT) tests] was assessed in 70-year old Danish subjects. We found: 1) subjects with PI obtained lower mean DST scores compared to subjects without PI (p
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the present study is to analyze how two dimensions of social position, education and social class, are associated with oral health among generally healthy, community-dwelling persons over the age of 80 years. METHODS: The present investigation is based on a sample of 157 community-dwelling individuals from The Kungsholmen Elders Oral Health Study (KEOHS) and included data from interviews and oral examinations. Social position was measured by education and social class. Oral health was measured by active coronal caries, active root caries, edentulism and use of dental services. RESULTS: The primary findings of the adjusted multivariate logistic regression analysis were that, compared to persons who had been in higher positions, persons who had been blue-collar/ white-collar workers had significantly greater odds of having coronal caries and high, but nonsignificant odds of being edentulous. Further, persons with elementary/ medium education tended to forego regular dental services more than persons with high education. CONCLUSION: The study identified social inequalities in oral health even in a population of independently living, generally healthy very old Swedes and in a country where the public health policies have tried to minimize these inequalities.