IADR 2015: Outpatients have poor oral health

BOSTON - How is the periodontal health of potentially at-risk patients who visit outpatient clinics in Hong Kong? This topic was addressed in a poster presented on March 13 at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) 2015 General Session.

Researchers reported that patients presenting to outpatient clinics generally had poor oral hygiene, gingival inflammation, poor periodontal status, and relatively poor oral health-related quality of life.

The group surveyed patients who attended diabetic or general outpatient clinics of a regional hospital in Hong Kong. The patients had a mean age of 55.2 years and more than half were female; they were split evenly between 76 patients with diabetes mellitus and 76 without diabetes who were seen at a general outpatient facility.

The patients completed questionnaires on their background and their oral health, followed by dental and periodontal assessment. Relevant medical data were also collected, according to the researchers. More than half (51.3%) of those visiting the general outpatient clinic had some form of chronic disease other than diabetes, they noted.

In general, the patients had very poor oral hygiene, with a periodontal index (PI) of 82.7% ± 12.9% and a high rate of gingival inflammation, with a bleeding on probing (BOP) rate of 62.5% ± 21.4%. Poor oral quality of health was also reported, and patients with diabetes had significantly more missing teeth than general outpatients (4.8 versus 2.6, p = 0.001).

The researchers concluded that patients attending both diabetes and outpatient clinics in Hong Kong have poor oral health, and dentists in particular could pay more attention to women with high rates of BOP.

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