Root caries development in older adults- a prospective cohort study

Martina Hayes, Cristiane DaMata, Gerald McKenna, F M Burke, P Finbarr Allen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Objectives: To identify factors associated with root caries development during a two year period in a population of independently living older adults. Methods: A prospective cohort study was carried out with 334 independently living volunteers aged 65 and older. At baseline (t0), each participant completed a questionnaire which recorded age, gender, medical history, fluoride exposure, oral and denture hygiene practices, smoking and alcohol consumption, diet information, and socio economic information. Clinical examinations were performed and stimulated saliva samples were collected. Patients were reviewed 12(t1) and 24(t2) months later to determine the root caries increment. Results: 307 adults were assessed at t1 and 280 were assessed at t2 with 83.8% of participants examined at 24 months. Incidence of root caries in this cohort was 17.4% at t1 and 21.6% at t2. The mean root caries increment was 0.43 (SD 1.45) surfaces at t1 and 0.70 (SD 1.86) surfaces at t2. Age >70 years, completing education at primary level, poor oral hygiene, xerostomia, coronal decay at baseline, higher root caries index at baseline and number of exposed root surfaces showed a statistically significant association (P < 0.05) with root caries development. Conclusion: Root caries is a substantive dental health problem for our older population. Root caries prevention strategies should be targeted at older adults who have poor plaque control and high levels of caries experience. In particular patients with xerostomia should be targeted with preventive measures.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Association for Dental Research: Irish Division Meeting - University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Duration: 03 Mar 201604 Mar 2016


ConferenceInternational Association for Dental Research: Irish Division Meeting

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