02 Dec 2022
30 Nov 2022
Tooth loss can have impact to nutrients intake and nutritional well-being among the aged population. Reduction in number of functioning teeth may lead to difficulties in chewing and less intake of specific nutrients. This study aimed to assess the association between number of remaining natural teeth with body mass index (BMI) in community-dwelling older adults. This cross-sectional study involved 115 members of an elderly association in Selangor, Malaysia. Clinical oral examination was carried out to assess the number of remaining natural teeth. Nutritional status was determined through anthropometry assessment to measure the BMI of respondents. A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated to assess the correlation between total number of remaining teeth and BMI. Oral health conditions showed that more than half (68.7%) of the older adults had less than 20 teeth with mean number of remaining teeth of 11.9 (SD 10.4). About 26.1% of the older adults were edentulous. In relation to nutritional status, 46.1% of respondents had normal BMI, 36.5% and 10.4% were overweight and obese respectively. Only 7.0% were underweight. Total number of remaining natural teeth was positively correlated with BMI (Pearson correlation coefficient: 0.22, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.01 – 0.18; p<0.05), indicating that higher number of teeth was correlated with higher BMI. Number of remaining natural teeth of the older adults were associated with their nutritional status, namely BMI. Thus suggesting the importance to maintain an optimum number of teeth into old age for healthier nutritional status.