BMC Oral Health. 2022 Jun 21;22(1):247. doi: 10.1186/s12903-022-02278-z.
INTRODUCTION: Older adults are a highly vulnerable group in their general health condition, including oral health that can be influenced by different factors, among them, changes in oral tissues inherent to the physiological processes of aging and by systemic condition. In El Salvador, it is a group that has received little attention at the public health level.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the profile of the oral health status and treatment needs of the elderly population in El Salvador.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Secondary cross-sectional analysis of data from the last oral health survey in 471 Salvadorans aged 60 years and older. The variables under study were: sociodemographics, brushing frequency, oral hygiene according to simplified oral hygiene index (OHI-S), caries experience according to decayed, missing, and filled teeth index (DMFT) modified with international caries detection and assessment system (ICDAS) criteria, periodontal status through the community periodontal index of treatment needs (CPITN), edentulism and treatment needs. Statistical analysis was conducted using chi-square test, ANOVA, z-test and linear regression (p < 0.05).
RESULTS: The older adults presented poor oral hygiene, low brushing frequency, high tooth loss with an average of 16 missing teeth while one third presented total edentulism. Most of the older adults were categorized as having “poor or very Poor” oral hygiene. Almost all respondents presented some degree of periodontal disease and required restorative intervention.
CONCLUSION: The oral health status of elderly Salvadoran is poor. Furthermore, the development of public policies and specific oral health strategies aimed at this population is urgent.