Background: Seniors recognize the need for dental care in maintaining quality of life. Research has identified behaviors that are associated with improved dental health.
Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the association of certain attitudes and behaviors upon tooth loss.
Method: This study obtained data by random selection from patients in the UOP School of Dentistry via paper survey.
Results: A statistically significant association was evident between tooth loss and seeing a dentist only when absolutely necessary, as well as going five years or more without seeing a dentist. Another significant correlation was made between smoking cigarettes and the use of cocaine or methamphetamines and tooth loss. Factors found to have positive correlations with having 10 or more teeth were found when a dentist was seen twice a year or more frequently, having full time employment for most of the patient’s life, tooth grinding at night, the daily use of one or more glasses of alcohol, and brushing and flossing twice a day.
Conclusion: Patients with fewer than ten teeth express attitudes which emphasize the value of their teeth similarly to those patients who have more than ten teeth. Behavior differences between the two groups are various and significant. Long-term retention of teeth can be positively influenced by the avoidance of cigarette smoking, and cocaine and methamphetamine use. Twice -yearly or more regular dental visits, the maintenance of full-time employment, and twice daily brushing and flossing were associated with tooth retention.
Keywords: Dentistry, Public Health, Tooth Loss, Geriatric Dentistry
Authors: Lola Giusti, Eric S. Salmon, Richard White