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Why do some people lose teeth across their lifespan whereas others retain a functional dentition into very old age?
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. Oral health. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. Ageing - living conditions and health.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology.
2010 (English)In: Gerodontology, ISSN 0734-0664, E-ISSN 1741-2358, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 19-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: To analyse the importance of caries, periodontitis, and medical and psychosocial factors for risk of becoming edentulous across their lifespan and to examine factors critical for retaining functional dentition into very old age.

METHODS: From the longitudinal population-based Octogenarian Twin study which analysed psychosocial and health variables, 357 individuals aged 82 + in 1995-1998 were collected. Information about number of teeth, decayed and filled surfaces percentage and periodontal disease experience were drawn from dental records. Reasons for and time of edentulousness were recorded.

RESULTS: Outcome varied - depending on perspective and factors for losing or retaining teeth. Significant factors for losing teeth varied over the lifespan. Losing teeth early in life was related to lower social class; in middle age, to lower education; and in old age, to poor lifestyle factors and low social class. Caries constituted the main reason for tooth loss (about 55%). This increased substantially in the >80 year age-group (75%). Maintaining a functional dentition into old age was significantly associated with non-smoking, more education, being married and good periodontal health.

CONCLUSION: It is important to apply life-span and cohort perspectives to oral health and disease. In our sample of persons born before World War I, caries was the main reason for losing all teeth, with substantially increased prevalence by age. Lifestyle factors were significant for losing and for retaining teeth. Periodontal condition had a significant influence on the likelihood of retaining functional dentition, and also when taking psychosocial variables into account.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 27, no 1, p. 19-25
Keywords [en]
oldest old, oral health, psychosocial factors, teeth
National Category
Dentistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-12143DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2009.00297.xISI: 000274667100004PubMedID: 19545321OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-12143DiVA, id: diva2:319326
Available from: 2010-05-17 Created: 2010-05-17 Last updated: 2019-02-19Bibliographically approved

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