Factors associated with chewing problems and oral dryness among older Chinese people in Hong Kong


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Abstract

Objectives:This study aims to describe the prevalence of chewing problems and oral dryness when eating and examine their risk factors among Chinese community-dwelling older adults.Background:Chewing problems and oral dryness are two common oral health complaints in older people. A number of factors associated with these two oral health problems in older people have been reported, but information regarding Chinese older adults is scarce.Materials and methods:Secondary analysis was conducted on the data collected from 3422 Hong Kong adults aged ≥60 who had completed a screening instrument for long-term care services for the first time.Results:Among the respondents, 15.3% reported having chewing problems and 3.5% reported having oral dryness when eating. More dependence on instrumental activities of daily living (IADL, OR = 1.06, p < 0.001) was associated with a greater likelihood of chewing problems, while more negative mood (OR = 1.19, p < 0.001) was associated with a greater likelihood of oral dryness when eating, after adjusting for the effects of socio-demographic characteristics and medical conditions. Informal care support, poor nutrition status and difficulty in brushing teeth/dentures were positively and significantly associated with these two perceived oral health problems.Conclusions:The prevalence of both chewing problems and oral dryness was low in Hong Kong older Chinese adults. IADL was related to chewing problems, while negative mood was related to oral dryness independently and significantly, which provide a knowledge base upon which to develop strategic programs of oral health promotion among older Chinese adults.

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