Influence of a removable prosthesis on oral health-related quality of life and mastication in elders with Parkinson disease

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Statement of problem

Parkinson disease (PD) symptoms, such as muscle rigidity, tremors in the lips and tongue, and involuntary mandibular movements, may cause oral health-related problems, mastication difficulties, and denture discomfort because of the difficulty in controlling a prosthesis with the oral musculature.


The purpose of this observational clinical study was to evaluate the influence of oral rehabilitation with a removable prosthesis on oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) and masticatory efficiency (ME) in elders with PD.

Material and methods

Thirty-four elders with PD (n=17, mean age 69.4 ±4.7 years) or without PD (n=17, mean age 70.7 ±4.7 years) were recruited. All participants first underwent OHRQoL and ME evaluations. Two months after the insertion of new removable prostheses, the participants were reassessed. The OHRQoL was measured with the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-49). ME was evaluated by determining the percentage weight of the comminuted silicone-based artificial material that passed through a 2.8 mm sieve. For each group, data were compared between baseline and after insertion of new removable prostheses by paired t test or Wilcoxon sign test/signed-rank test. Group differences were assessed at each time point by t test (α=.05).


After the insertion of removable prostheses, elders with PD showed improved OHRQoL and ME. Controls also showed improvements on both measures after insertion of removable prostheses. At baseline, elders with PD had lower OHRQoL and ME compared with the controls (P<.05). After removable prosthesis insertion, the elders with PD continued to show lower ME values than the controls, but their OHRQoL was similar.


Oral rehabilitation with new removable dental prostheses improved the OHRQoL and ME in elders with and without PD, although ME did not reach control levels in elders with PD.

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