Evaluation of Nutritional Status in Relation with Oral and Dental Health of Patient in Geriatric Outpatient Clinic
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Background: The deterioration of oral and dental health in elderly may make them more susceptible to malnutrition by affecting their ability to chew along with taste perception, swallowing capacity and nutrient intake. The relationship between oral health and nutritional status in elderly is controversial and there are limited number of studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between oral and dental health in relation with nutritional status of elderly individuals. Materials and methods: This study was carried out in 215 volunteer patients aged 65 years or older, consisted of 70 males and 145 females who applied to Geriatric outpatient clinic between May 2018 and November 2018. Demographic characteristics of the patients included in the study were recorded. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the oral and dental health status. Mini Nutritional Test - Long Form was used to assess nutritional status. In addition, the food and beverages consumed by the patients were recorded with a 24-hour retrospective recall method and daily energy and nutrient intake was analyzed with the full version of the Nutrition Information System (BeBiS) software program. Results: Of the patients 32.6% were males and 67.4% were females. The mean age of the males was 78.6±6.8 years and the mean age of females was 74.9±6.9 years. Forty-four point two of the patients were primary school graduates, 20% were high school graduates and 9.8% were secondary school graduates. Eighty percent o f males were married and 41.4 percent of females were married. The percentage of men with difficulty in chewing and swallowing was 24.3%, while the percentage of women was 23.4%. It was observed that 30.2% of the patients had tooth loss, 54.9% had full-dentures and 14.9% had no tooth loss (Table 1). The prevalence of malnutrition (n=7) and risk of malnutrition (n=53) was 3.3% and 24.7% respectively. Patients with malnutrition and risk of malnutrition were found to have less appetite, more tooth loss and more frequent difficulty swallowing and chewing compared to patients with normal nutritional status. In addition, mean daily energy, carbohydrate, fat, fiber intake and water consumption were found to be statistically lower than those with normal nutrition status (Table 2). Conclusion: In aging process, besides additional diseases, oral and dental health problems, problems related to chewing and swallowing function and social difficulties in reaching food are effective in food intake. As a result, inadequate intake of energy and macronutrients occur. Patients in geriatrics outpatient clinics, should be screened routinely on their nutritional status to determine those who need nutritional support and to apply effective nutrition interventions. In order to reduce the risk of malnutrition, all elderly patients should be questioned about oral and dental health, and appropriate guidance should be given.
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