Factors associated with dry mouth in dependent Japanese elderly.
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: To identify factors associated with dry mouth. BACKGROUND: Dry mouth adversely affects oropharyngeal health, particularly in elderly, and can lead to pneumonia. A better understanding of the epidemiology of dry mouth is therefore important in improving treatment strategies and oral health in high-risk elderly patients. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 383 dependent Japanese elderly individuals (65-84 [n = 167] and ≥85 [n = 216] years) at eight long-term care facilities and hospitals. Thirty-four potential factors associated with dry mouth were examined by multiple logistic regression analysis. The primary outcome was dry mouth, as diagnosed by tongue dorsum moisture. RESULTS: We identified that body mass index and severity of physical disability were identified as a potential factors associated with dry mouth in the super-elderly (≥85 years) group, whereas severity of physical disability, outcome measurement time, high daily water consumption, mouth breathing, use of antidepressants and diuretics, and high frequency of daily brushing (≥2 times per day; Odds ratio: 5.56; 95% Confidence Interval: 1.52-20.00) were associated with dry mouth in the 65- to 84-year-old group. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify a link between frequency of daily brushing and dry mouth and suggests that tooth brushing should be encouraged in high-risk dependent Japanese elderly (65-84 years), particularly those taking antidepressants and/or diuretics.