Oral malodor and removable complete dentures in the elderly

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The objectives of this study were to assess oral malodor in patients with removable complete dentures and analyze its association with age, sex, subjective oral dryness, burning mouth, tongue coating, and overnight denture wear in elderly subjects.

Study design.

The study comprised 105 complete denture wearers (56 male, 49 female) between the ages of 50 and 78 from the province of Kirikkale in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. Oral malodor was assessed using a portable sulfide monitor. Participants were given a self-administered, structured questionnaire. Baseline and final volatile sulfur compound (VSC) levels and tongue-coating scores (TCS) were measured. Analysis included frequency, cross-tabulations, ANOVA, and independent sample and paired t tests. Odds ratios of VSC-related factors were also calculated. A P value less than .05 was considered statistically significant.


There was no significant correlation found between age, gender, smoking, existence of a medical condition, or regular use of medication and VSC levels in mouth air (P > .05). However, educational level (P < .05), oral dryness (P < .05), burning mouth (P < .05), overnight denture wear (P < .01), and TCS (P < .001) were found to be significantly correlated with VSC levels. Significant differences were also found between baseline and final measurements of both VSC levels and TCS (P < .01).


This study found the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the tongue, oral dryness, burning mouth, overnight denture wear, and lower educational levels to be significantly related to oral malodor. Following tongue care maintenance and overnight removal of dentures, patients' oral malodor levels decreased significantly.

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