On 12 June at 14 Minh Son Nguyen will defend his doctoral thesis „Oral health status and prevalence of temporomandibular disorders in 65–74-year-olds in Vietnam“ at UT senate hall.
Professor Mare Saag (candidate (medicine)), Institute of Dentistry, University of Tartu
Associate Professor Triin Jagomägi (PhD (medicine)), Institute of Dentistry, University of Tartu
Associate Professor Ülle Voog-Oras (PhD (Clinical Oral Science)) Institute of Dentistry, University of Tartu
Associate Professor Toai Nguyen (PhD) Faculty of Stomatology, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vietnam
Professor Timo Närhi (PhD), Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Turku, Soome
Oral health is a state of being free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity of biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial well-being. Health of the stomatognathic system is also related to the status of dental occlusion and temporomandibular structures. The variation in the conditions affecting the anatomic and functional characteristics of temporomandibular structures is known as temporomandibular disorders.
The Vietnamese elderly have experienced the Vietnam War (1945–1975) and different economic systems. These upheavals could affect their oral status. The aims of the dissertation were to study oral health status, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and the role of occlusal support in relation to TMD and the craniofacial structure in the Vietnamese elderly aged 65–74 years.
The cross-sectional study covered 258 participants living in Danang, Vietnam. Clinical examination of teeth and the surrounding tissues was performed according to the recommendations of the WHO. Diagnosis of TMD was based on the Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders; occlusal supports were analysed by using the Eichner classification; cephalometric measurements were used to evaluate the alterations in the craniofacial structures of the elderly.
Of the sample, 97.7% had experienced dental caries, 83.3% had periodontal diseases, and 56.6% had TMD. Disc displacement and degenerative joint disease were most prevalent among the elderly Vietnamese. Approximately 16% of the elderly did not have any occlusal supports, the odds of having TMD were positively associated with total unilateral loss of occlusal support (OR = 3.36, 95% CI = 1.21–9.36, P = .020) and total bilateral loss of occlusal supports (OR = 2.71, 95% CI = 1.12–6.56, P = .027). The higher is the number of lost occlusal support zones, the more significant are the changes in the craniofacial structures. The alteration of angles formed by the mandibular plane, gonial angle, cranial base angle, effective mandibular length, and anterior facial height were significantly associated with TMD signs (P < .05).
The study suggests that an oral health care programme is required to improve the oral health status of the elderly Vietnamese.