Oral health is more than healthy teeth. Oral diseases and disorders can affect general health, well-being and quality of life.
The goal of this investigation is to establish oral health related to quality of life of geriatric patients.
Methods and materials: The study is made for a period of 12 months in a private dental office in Sofia, Bulgaria. It includes 53 geriatric patients (36 women and 17 men). The womens average age is 69,5 years old (from 65 to 87), and mens average age is 70,5 years old (from 65 to 84). A special questionnaire is made and patients were asked about specific dental problems related to quality of life.
Results: From all patients 69,8% are women and only 30,2% are men, which means that women are more likely to visit dental healthcare delivery. 31,5 % from geriatric patients visit the dental office because of acute pain and 68,4% - because of caries. These are the specific items which are used to assess geriatric oral health and relate it to quality of life: trouble biting, chewing (eating), uncomfortable eating in front of other people, trouble speaking, limitation of social contacts.
Conclusions: Oral health can be an indicator of general health and quality of life in geriatric patients. Oral diseases are progressive and cumulative. They become more complex over time. Improved oral health will allow geriatric patients to improve their self-confidence, have active social contacts, to restore ability to work at home, or on the job.