Assessment of oral status and oro-pharyngeal candidosis in elderly in short-term hospital care

Alain Tosello, Jean-Michel Chevaux, Sylvie Montal, B Foti


Objectives: to evaluate prevalence of oral candidosis and predisposing conditions in hospitalized elderly patients. Design: we examined 104 elder patients recently hospitalized in two geriatric hospitals for short-term hospital care. Methods: information was collected on patients' sex, age, mental and physical disabilities, smoking habits, medical prescriptions, oral pathologies, denture wearing, oral hygiene habits and oral hygiene level. Quality of existing dentures was evaluated. Oral mucosae were examined for clinical signs suggesting oral candidosis. Semiquantitative cultures of Candida were carried out to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Results: the diagnosis oral candidosis was confirmed in 18/54 patients showing clinical signs of oral candidosis. Confirmed oral candidosis was associated with the presence of other infections, proteo-caloric denutrition, ongoing antibiotic therapy, and denture wearing. Dentures in patients with confirmed oral candidosis at poorer technical quality of the acrylic surface in contact with the underlying mucosa. Conclusion: the wearing of removable dentures is a major predisposing factor for oro- pharyngeal candidosis of elderly patients in short-term hospital care. Appropriate oral and denture hygiene measures as well as denture wearing habits should be introduced or maintained to prevent this infection.

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