Potential factors responsible for dryness of the dorsum of the tongue in elderly requiring care

Tadashi Ogasawara, Nobuyuki Andou, Souitirou Kawase, Yuka Kawase, Koichiro Matsuo, Yosie Ozaki, Yasuaki Kakinoki

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Objective: This study explored potential factors in elderly requiring care that cause dryness of the dorsum of the tongue despite moisture retention in the sublingual mucosa. Materials and methods: Subjects were 224 elderly (mean age: 83.6 ± 7.4 years) living in a nursing home and requiring individual care. Measurement of moisture of the dorsum of the tongue and sublingual mucosa was performed using a wetness tester (L-SALIVO) with a measurement time of 10 s. Results: A significant difference in drying only of the dorsum of the tongue was noted depending on the degree of incapacity, level of consciousness, eating (oral ingestion or tube-feeding), and conversation. Multiple logistic regression identified the degree of incapacity in terms of eating (oral ingestion or tube-feeding) as a significant factor for dryness. The odds ratio for the degree of incapacity was 3.2 while that for eating was 11.226. Conclusion: Dry mouth of the dorsum of the tongue in elderly requiring care was associated with the degree of incapacity, tube feeding, and level of conversation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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