Oral Health Assessment, Oral Hygiene Practices and Psychological State among the Elderly in General Practice Setting in Lagos, Nigeria

Akodu BA(1), Odunlami TO(2), Oluwole EO(3), Bakre AT(4), Baiyeroju IO(5), Olokodana-Adesalu OA(6),


(1) Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
(2) Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
(3) Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
(4) Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
(5) Department of Family Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
(6) Department of Family Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
Corresponding Author

Abstract


Background: The elderly is the most neglected group in our community and are prone to dental problems.Mortality from ten leading causes of death among elderly in sub-Sahara Africa can be traced to poor oral hygiene among elderly. Extensive tooth loss impairs chewing efficiency and restricts social contact. Poor oral hygiene inhibits intimacy and may lower self-esteem. It may also affect speech which in turn limits social interaction leading to depression and stress.

Objective: This paper examines oral hygiene and psychological state of the elderly.

Methods: This was an analytical cross-sectional study, conducted among 294 elderly patients. Systematic sampling technique was used to recruit respondents. Data was collected using interviewer administered World Health Organisation (WHO) Oral Health Questionnaires. The elderly patients were also assessed using a Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Data obtained was analysed using IBM SPSS version 23. Inferential analysis and logistic regression were used to establish the relationship between anxiety, depression, stress and oral health practices. Level of significance was defined at 95% confidence interval (p<0.05).

Results: Respondents with 20 or more natural teeth were less likely to have a significant level of anxiety when compared to those with less than 20 (OR = 0.706, p = 0.528). Respondents with frequent tooth brushing of less than twice a day were 3 times less likely to have a significant level of anxiety when compared to those with brushing frequency of more than or equal to twice a day (OR = 0.345, p = 0.001). Respondents with more than or equal to 20 natural teeth were twice less likely to have a significant level of depression when compared to those with less than 20 natural teeth (OR = 0.455, p = 0.264). Respondents with removable dentures in lower/upper teeth were thrice more likely to have significant anxiety when compared with those without removable dentures (OR = 3.445, p = 0.105).

Conclusion: Oral health was associated with psychological state in the elderly. The number of natural teeth, removable dentures and frequency of tooth brushing were associated with depression and anxiety in the elderly.


Keywords


Oral health, oral hygiene, psychological state, elderly, depression, anxiety, stress

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