JKAOH Journal of Korean Academy of Oral Health

ISSN(Print) 1225-388X ISSN(Online) 2093-7784


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Original Article

Journal of Korean Academy of Oral Health 2017; 41(4): 243-249

Published online December 30, 2017 https://doi.org/10.11149/jkaoh.2017.41.4.243

Copyright © Journal of Korean Academy of Oral Health.

Relationship between stress and subjective oral dryness in the elderly in a rural region: a pilot study

Min-Jeong Cho1, Eun Lee2, Yoosik Youm3, Hyeon Chang Kim4, Eun-Kyung Jung5, Jin-Kyung Kim6, Keun-Bae Song1, Youn-Hee Choi1

Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, 2Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 3Department of Sociology, Younsei University College of Social Science, 4Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, 5Department of Dental Hygiene, Ulsan College, Ulsan, 6Dental Hygiene, Daegu Health College, Daegu , Korea

Received: August 16, 2017; Revised: October 23, 2017; Accepted: November 20, 2017


Objectives: Stress is a psychological reaction to stimuli such as anxiety or threat felt by a person either physically or mentally when placed in a difficult situation. Although a relationship between stress and dry mouth has been reported, it remains understudied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between stress and subjective dry mouth among the elderly living in a rural region. Methods: A total of 214 people aged ≥60 years living in a rural area were recruited with an informed consent for a cross-sectional analysis. Information about stress and subjective dry mouth was obtained by an interview survey with a constructed questionnaire. Data on other potential confounding factors (including oral factors) such as socio-demographic data, health-related behaviors, the number of remaining teeth, and subjective chewing ability were also gathered at the same time. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the relationship of stress and dry mouth using SPSS. Results: The Crude odds ratio (OR) of stress awareness affecting subjective dry mouth was 2.59 (95% confidence interval: 1.43-4.68). After adjusting for sex, education, income, smoking, and alcohol intake, the adjusted OR was 2.52 (95% confidence interval: 1.30-4.87) which was statistically significant. Conclusions: Elderly people who were stressed had an approximately 2-fold increase in experiencing subjective dry mouth when compared to their stress-free counterparts.

Keywords: Elderly, Oral dryness, Stress