Tooth loss, elderly, oral health

Food insecurity and tooth loss

Study reveals the link between food insecurity and tooth loss.

There may be a connection between food insecurity and tooth loss among adults age 50 and older residing in the U.S., according to a new study published on May 8 in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.

Therefore, investigating the influence of social factors like food insecurity on dental health can contribute to the preservation of oral care in older individuals, the authors wrote.

“There is a need to understand the extent to which social context matters in the oral health of older adults, which is an important step in conceptualizing social interventions aimed at preventing conditions like edentulism,” wrote the authors, led by Sophie Li of the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle.

To better understand the relationship between tooth loss and food insecurity, a cross-sectional survey and dental screening were conducted with 216 participants ages 50 years and above residing in Washington. They were enrolled in seven community-based organizations between September 2021 and July 2022.

Of the participants, 7.9% of participants were found to be edentulous. Furthermore, 28.7% experienced low to very low food security. Within the study group, 11.3% of older adults with low to very low food security were edentulous compared to 6.7% with high food security.

In the initial logistic regression model without adjustments, older adults experiencing low to very low food security showed higher odds of being edentulous compared to those with marginal or high food security (odds ratio, 1.77; 95% confidence interval, 0.61 to 5.12; p = 0.30), according to the results.

Read the full article here

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