Objective To determine the effect of tooth loss and denture status on oral health-related quality of life of older individuals. Basic research design A cross-sectional study where the data were collected by means of an interviewer administered questionnaire and a clinical oral examination. Participants The sample consisted of 630 free-living older individuals who were 60 years and above. The present analysis is limited to 619 individuals who had at least one missing tooth. Main outcome measures The impact of tooth loss and denture status on oral health related quality of life was assessed using a Sinhalese translation of the Oral Health Impact profile-14 (OHIP-14). Results In the edentate group, overall prevalence of oral impacts was significantly higher in non-denture wearers (53%) compared to denture wearers (32%). In both dentate and edentate groups, the most commonly reported impact item was “uncomfortable to eat”. According to the logistic regression analysis having 25-31 missing teeth with an odds ratio of 4.21 had the strongest association with the OHIP score. Those with anterior dental spaces were 2.76 times more likely to have an impact score of >2 than those without such spaces. Compared to denture wearers, non-denture wearers were 2.81 times more likely to have an impact score of >2. Conclusions Oral health-related quality of life of older individuals was significantly affected by tooth loss, position of missing teeth and denture status. Key words: Denture status, older individuals, oral health related quality of life, tooth loss.
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