To describe the distribution of enamel-, dentin-, root- and secondary caries within an elderly population in Northern-Norway.

Material and methods:
A study population (n = 1 173) was divided into age groups: 65–69 (seniors), 70–74 (young elderly), 75–79 (elderly) and 80–94 (old elderly). Seven examiners registered presence, location and severity of caries lesions on x-rays and intra-oral photos. Severity of approximal, occlusal, secondary and root caries was graded (D1–2: into enamel; D3–5: into dentin, root caries), and decayed missing filled surfaces/teeth (DMFS/DMFT) were calculated. T-test, ANOVA and a Bonferroni correction were used.

The seniors had more primary caries (DS1–5) compared to the oldest age groups, while the old elderly had significantly more secondary caries than the other groups (p < .05). Of those ≥65 years 13.8% were affected with root caries, 21% among the oldest. About 48% of the old elderly had one or more surfaces with untreated caries lesions into dentin, while for the other groups the number was 35% (p < 0.05).

Individuals seem to maintain good oral health up to at least 80 years of age. Those older than 80 years have more root caries needing more intensified caries-controlling measures and a higher prevalence of untreated dentin lesions often in need of operative treatment.

The frequency of enamel and dentin caries lesions among elderly Norwegians
Mulic A; Tveit AB, Stenhagen KR, Oscarson N, Staxrud F, Jönsson B
Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, July 2019
DOI: 101080/00016357.2019.163428