Oral mucosal lesions in older people: relation to salivary secretion, systemic diseases and medications.
The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions among institutionalized elderly. The study population comprised 486 elderly from eight nursing homes, and 199 elderly from five hospital long-term care facilities in the eastern part of Denmark. Approximately half of the subjects exhibited one or more pathologic conditions of the oral mucosa. Denture related traumatic ulcerations were found in 3.9% of the nursing home residents, compared to 8.3% among the elderly in hospital long-term care. The most prevalent finding was denture stomatitis, which was manifest in about one third of the elderly. The prevalence was strongly influenced by the denture hygiene; 54% of the elderly with poor denture hygiene suffered from denture stomatitis, as compared to only 7% of those with clean dentures. The prevalence of denture stomatitis was also related to the usage of dentures at night and to the age of the dentures. The prevalence decreased significantly with increasing age, although the oldest age group did not have better denture hygiene, or more favorable wearing habits. It did not appear that sex, type of residency, degree of urbanization, denture conditions, or the use of anticholinergic drugs influenced the prevalence of denture stomatitis. The prevalence and severity of the disease can probably be reduced if the denture hygiene is improved and if the elderly only use their dentures during the daytime.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)