Total edentulism in older adults: aging or social inequality?
Luciana Colares Maia, Simone de Melo Costa, Daniella Reis Barbosa Martelli, Antônio Prates Caldeira
Journal Title:Revista Bioética
This study estimated the self-reported prevalence of total edentulism in older adults aged 60 years or older in a municipality of Minas Gerais, Brazil, enrolled in the Family Health Strategy and identified associated socioeconomic factors. Data collection took place in the participants’ domiciles through a questionnaire including sociodemographic, economic, and general and oral health data. The statistical analysis used “total edentulism” as the dependent variable, with significance level of 5%. A total of 1,750 older adults participated, 63.4% of whom were female, 11.5% were illiterate and 27.8% had a family income below one minimum wage. Total edentulism was 46.4%, with a higher prevalence in women, in participants who were aged ≥80 years, single/widowed/divorced, illiterate and in those who did not seek dental service in the last six months (p<0.05). Family income was lower for the edentulous older adults (p=0.001), and a high prevalence was found for edentulism associated with socioeconomic factors, showing iniquity in oral health and, therefore, the need for State protection.
Keywords: Aged. Tooth loss. Socioeconomic factors. Health status disparities. Oral health. Primary health care.