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Oral Health Status of Older Adults Attending Senior Centers and Congregate Meal Sites in New Hampshire

Oral Health Status of Older Adults Attending Senior Centers and Congregate Meal Sites in New Hampshire

Journal of Dental Hygiene 90(2): 128-134

This study assessed the oral health status of older adults in randomly selected New Hampshire senior centers and congregate meal sites for the purpose of future planning, implementation and evaluation of targeted public health programs. A cross-sectional surveillance project was developed. Registered dental hygienists visually assessed denture use, number of natural teeth, teeth mobility, untreated caries, root fragments, gingivitis, need for care and treatment urgency among randomly selected active older adults living within New Hampshire communities. Altogether, 610 adults 60 years old and older attending 25 senior centers and congregate meal sites participated. Sixteen percent were edentulous and 42% reported having a removable upper or lower denture. Among edentulous adults, 5% had no dentures at all. Among 513 dentate participants, 22% had untreated caries, 14% had root fragments, 9% had gingivitis and 7% presented with obviously mobile teeth. Overall, 19% required early or urgent dental care. Differences were detected by sex, age group, urban versus rural location of the site and by the participation in a federal nutritional program for older adults. Baseline information about oral health needs of older adults in New Hampshire was gathered. Overall needs as well as existing oral health disparities will be addressed through the collaboration of public and private partners.

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Accession: 058471048

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PMID: 27105791

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