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Objectives: To determine the pattern of orofacial diseases, oral care interventions and co-morbidities in the elderly
Background: Aging is accompanied by changes in every part of the body including orofacial tissues. These changes are often overlooked when considering health care demands of the elderly. Empirical insights into the pattern and risk factors to oral diseases of elderly Nigerians which are of public health importance are scarce.
Materials and Methods: Electronic records of 275 elderly patients aged ≥60 years who attended the dental unit of our facility between 1st January 2013 and 31st December 2015 were analyzed. Data extracted included the sociodemographic characteristics, reasons for encounter, orofacial diagnoses and co-morbidities.
Results: The mean age of the patients studied was 70.8 ± 7.5 years and 185 (67.3%) of these patients were females. The major reasons for the dental visits were toothache (54.9%) and cleaning of teeth (14.2%). Periodontal diseases (68.0%) and endodontic lesions (11.3%) were the commonest orofacial diagnoses. Overall, there were 780 (2.8 per elderly) missing teeth. Scaling and polishing 140 (50.9%) and tooth extraction 98 (35.6%) were the most frequent orofacial procedures. There was an average of 1.5 co-morbid medical condition per elderly patient studied. Hypertension (51.3%) and osteoarthritis (29.1%) were the most common co-morbid medical conditions in the patients we studied.
Conclusion: Periodontal and endodontic lesions were the commonest orofacial infections in these patients while hypertension and osteoarthritis were the most common co-morbid medical conditions seen amongst elderly patients seen at the dental unit of our geriatric health centre. These findings will be useful for the setting up and management of elderly patients needing oral health care in Nigeria.
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