Background: The Decade of Healthy Aging 2021-2030 calls for a strengthening of the policies for older people in Latin America. An example of successful oral aging is the Japanese “8020” campaign, which achieved 50% of people aged 80 years having ≥20 teeth by 2016. Objective: To evaluate the association between having a functional dentition (≥20 teeth) and cognitive health, social participation, and quality of life in people aged ≥80 years. Methods: Cross-sectional data from 299 complete observations (weighted N = 436 981) of individuals aged ≥80 years from Chile's National Health Survey 2016-2017 were included (3% of the population; total = 5520 clinical observations/weighted N = 14 518 969). Generalised structural equation models (GSEM) evaluated the association between having a functional dentition and cognitive health, measured with the Mini-mental score, between having a functional dentition and social participation, and between having a functional dentition and quality of life, measured with the EQ-5D-3L. Models included the effect of mediators (daily fruit and vegetable consumption; oral health-related quality of life score) and controlled for the exposure-induced mediator-outcome variables: sex, educational level, and location. Data were analysed using the STATA-17 survey module. Statistical significance was set at P <.05 (95% confidence interval [CI]). Results: The sample was mostly female, had <8 years of education, and lived in urban areas. The prevalence of a functional dentition was 9.2% (95% CI 3.6,21.3/n = 21). GSEM demonstrated that the association between functional dentition and cognitive health was mediated by daily fruits and vegetables consumption (β = 0.12/95% CI 0.02,0.21/P =.015), with moderate strength of evidence. Additionally, there was strong evidence of an association between functional dentition and social participation frequency (β = 2.76/95% CI 0.60,4.73/P =.009). Finally, the association between functional dentition and quality of life was mediated by cognitive health (β =0.05/95% CI 0.02,0.09/P =.002) and oral health-related quality of life (β = −0.04/95% CI −0.08 to −0.01/P =.025), with strong and moderate evidence, respectively. Conclusion: Given the beneficial implications of functional dentition in social participation, nutritional benefits and quality of life and well-being of individuals aged ≥80 years.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by FONDEF I+D, ID22I10101, Santiago, Chile. This research used information from the Health Surveys for epidemiological surveillance of the Public Health Subsecretary. The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Health of Chile for making the database available to them. All results obtained from the study or research are the responsibility of the author and, in no way, compromise this institution.
© 2023 Gerodontology Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- aged, 80 and over
- functional dentition, preventive dentistry
- quality of life
- social participation