Author(s): Luciana Correia Arago de Vas, Raimundo Rosendo Prado Jnior, Joo Batista Mendes Teles, Regina Ferraz Mendes
This study focused on self-perceived oral health of the elderly and associated variables. The sample consisted of 321 functionally independent individuals 60 years or older living in Parnaíba, Piauí State, Brazil. Oral examinations were performed and questionnaires were applied during home visits. The elderly presented poor oral health, with mean DMFT 29.41 (SD = 4.10). However, their self-perceived oral health was positive, with 52% showing high scores according to the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI). Multivariate analysis showed that predictors of self-perceived oral health included the need for upper prostheses, oral mucosal lesions, and self-rated oral health. The most important predictor was self-rated oral health, with a weight of 20% variation in self-perceived oral health. In conclusion, subjective measurement of oral health in the elderly is less associated with their actual clinical status and more with other subjective factors.