Socioeconomic, sociodemographic, and clinical variables associated with root caries in a group of persons age 60 years and older in Mexico.
Medina Solís, Carlo Eduardo
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Aim:To determine the prevalence of root caries and the root caries index in a population of older Mexicans, and its relationship to socioeconomic, sociodemographic and dental factors. Methods:We carried out a cross-sectional study in 85 persons 60 years and older livingeither in long-term care facilities, or independently and attending an elder day-care group. Each subject underwent an oral examination, performed by a trained and standardized dentist, to determine the root caries index and other clinical variables. Questionnaires were administered to collect socioeconomic, sociodemographic and hygiene data. Statistical analyses were performed using non-parametric tests. Results:The prevalence of root caries was 96.5%. The root caries index was 37.7%±21.7%. Statistically significant differences (P<0.05) of root caries index were observed across residential arrangements and marital statuses, and were higher in publicly funded long-term care and among single subjects (P<0.05). Those who had poor hygiene had more root caries (P<0.05); persons with a low level of schooling and who brushed their teeth less frequently also showed a difference (P<0.05). Conclusions:The prevalence of root caries was very high. The type of long-term care, marital status, schooling and oral hygiene were associated with a higher root caries index. Oral health programs and preventive caries interventions are needed for this age group in general; targeted strategies may be better focused if sociodemographic profiles are used to characterize high need groups.