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Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry

Edited by Prof. Dr. Jean-François Roulet, Prof. Dr. Dr. Niklaus P. Lang, Prof. Dr. Palle Holmstrup

Official journal of the Academy of Minimally Invasive Dentistry, the World Congress of Microdentistry, and the European Society of Preventive Dentistry

ISSN (print) 1602-1622 • ISSN (online) 1757-9996


Summer 2009
Volume 7 , Issue 2

Pages: 129-136
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Impacts of Toothbrushing Frequency on Periodontal Findings in a Group of Elderly Lithuanians

Vysniauskaite, Sonata / Vehkalahti, Miira M.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the severity of the findings of dental plaque, calculus and deepened periodontal pockets in relation to self-reported toothbrushing frequency in a group of elderly Lithuanians. The authors hypothesised that those reporting twice daily toothbrushing exhibit less severe periodontal findings. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 94 dentate patients aged 60 or older was conducted at two public dental offices in Lithuania. Half-mouth recordings of dental plaque, calculus and deepened periodontal pockets were expressed as mean values per subject. These indicators described the severity of periodontal findings. A selfadministered questionnaire provided information on toothbrushing frequency, age, gender and education. Statistical evaluation included chi-square test, analysis of variance and logistic regression. Results: None of the subjects were plaque-, calculus- or pocket-free. Of all, 26% reported that they brushed their teeth at least twice daily, 36% once daily and 38% less frequently. Women (P = 0.004), younger (P = 0.002) and higher educated respondents (P < 0.001) reported twice daily toothbrushing more frequently than did their counterparts. Twice daily toothbrushing was clearly associated with the least severe conditions regarding dental plaque (P = 0.03) and deepened pockets (P < 0.001), but not calculus (P = 0.39). Logistic regression models revealed higher level of education as the strongest factor odds ratio (OR = 2.7; P = 0.04) explaining the lowest scores of dental plaque. Higher frequency of toothbrushing was the strongest factor (OR = 2.1; P = 0.03) to explain the lowest scores of deepened periodontal pockets. Conclusion: Twice daily toothbrushing contributes to better periodontal health in the elderly subjects and should be encouraged at every dental appointment.
Keywords: calculus, deepened periodontal pockets, dental plaque, elderly subjects, toothbrushing frequency

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