Title : Objective measurements of oral function which relates to ADL in elderly people
The relationship between activities of daily living (ADL) and oral function has been reported. However, there were still no consistent conclusion on the relationship of the number of teeth and oral function with ADL. We investigated the relationship between oral function and ADL among 61 elderly people at long-term care facilities. The age, sex, degree of care required, basic illness, ADL, food substances, number of teeth present, use of dentures, tongue pressure, and diadochokinesis (ODK) were recorded. The food substances were classified into two categories: regular diet and non-regular diet. ADL was classified into three groups: “independent group”, “semi-bedridden group”, and “bedridden group”. The severity of ADL was significantly related to the degree of care required, diabetes, osteoarthritis, food substances, and ODK /pa/ and /ka/. There was a significant correlation of the food substances with ODK /pa/, /ta/ and /ka/ sounds. Next, we investigated the association between swallowing function and oral function among 188 community-dwelling elderly Japanese. The number of present teeth and functioning teeth were counted. Bacteria counts in tongue coat, oral wettability, tongue pressure, ODK, masticatory ability and bite force were examined. Swallowing function was assessed using the 10-item Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10). Subjects with ODK /pa/ sound <6.2 times/second had higher prevalence of swallowing problems than those with 6.2 times/second or more. EAT-10 scores of one or more were significantly related to older age (≥71 years old; odds ratio [OR] = 4.321, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.713-10.710) and reduced ODK /pa/ sound (<6.2 times/second; OR = 2.914, 95% CI: 1.103-7.695).