Removable dental prostheses and difficulties with chewing among frail individuals: Results from the Swiss SAPALDIA cohort

Authors

  • Lujain Alchalabi Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Allschwil, Switzerland & University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • Emmanuel Schaffner Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Allschwil, Switzerland & University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • Medea Imboden Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Allschwil, Switzerland & University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • Julia C. Difloe-Geisert Private Office Zahngesundheit am Tegernsee, Germany
  • Nicola U. Zitzmann Department of Reconstructive Dentistry, University Center for Dental Medicine, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Nicole Probst-Hensch Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Allschwil, Switzerland & University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.61872/sdj-2024-02-04

Keywords:

Frailty, Prosthodontics, Tooth loss, Oral epidemiology, Gerontology

Abstract

Oral healthcare among the frail is an underestimated geriatric care element. While neglected oral health (OH) is a well-established risk factor for frailty, frailty can be a risk factor for subsequent OH problems. 

The cross-sectional investigation nested into the SAPALDIA sub-cohort of citizens aged 52 years and older, aims to stimulate longitudinal research into aspects that accelerate poor OH among frail individuals. The hypothesis investigated was that (pre-) frail individuals are more likely to have missing teeth replaced with removable dental prostheses (RDP) resulting in difficulties with chewing.

The study included 1489 participants undergoing geriatric assessments and oral examination. The main predictor was frailty status (non-frail; pre-frail; frail), based on Fried’s frailty phenotype. The main outcomes of interest were non-functional dentition (presence of ≤ 19 natural teeth), presence of any RDP and self-reported difficulties with chewing.

Pre-frailty and frailty were not associated with the presence of ≤ 19 natural teeth, but were associated with a higher RDP prevalence. The presence of at least one complete denture (CD) had 1.71 fold and 2.54 folds higher odds among pre-frail and frail, respectively, compared to non-frail individuals. Frail individuals with CD reported chewing difficulties 7.8 times more often than non-frail individuals without CD.

The results are in line with the hypothesis that (pre-) frail individuals may be more likely to have tooth loss restored by RDPs. Future longitudinal research needs to assess potential barriers to oral hygiene and fixed dental prostheses among (pre-) frail and to study their oral health-related quality of life.

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Published

2024-02-26

How to Cite

Alchalabi, L., Schaffner, E., Imboden, M., Difloe-Geisert, J. C., Zitzmann, N. U., & Probst-Hensch, N. (2024). Removable dental prostheses and difficulties with chewing among frail individuals: Results from the Swiss SAPALDIA cohort. SWISS DENTAL JOURNAL SSO – Science and Clinical Topics, 134(2), 53–71. https://doi.org/10.61872/sdj-2024-02-04

Funding data