The effects of improved oral hygiene on the nutrition of the elderly Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qf85nf313

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  • The effects of improved oral hygiene on the nutrition of 23 elderly institutionalized men and women were investigated. An experimental group of 12 received professional oral hygiene treatments three times weekly for a period of five weeks, while a control group of 11 received only placebo work. Changes in taste perception, nutrient intake, and selected blood parameters were measured. Improved oral hygiene appeared to be responsible for increases in taste acuity. There were significantly more experimental than control subjects who showed improved ability to detect sweet, sour, and salty tastes, and improved identification thresholds for sweet and salty tastes. The nutrient intake of many of the subjects fell below the recommended dietary allowances for this age group, especially for folate. No significant dietary improvement was directly attributable to improved oral hygiene. However, at the end of the five-week period, both groups showed significant increases in their mean dietary calories, protein, calcium, vitamin A, and riboflavin. In addition, the diet of the experimental group increased significantly in iron and thiamin. The dietary improvement appeared to be associated with the psychological effect of frequent professional attention. No significant improvements in blood parameters were shown by either group as a result of the treatment. However, significantly more experimental than control subjects showed an increase in hemoglobin concentration, plasma protein, and plasma ascorbic acid. Low plasma folate concentrations were found in all subjects and there was no folate response to either treatment.
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