Prevalence of tooth loss and dental service use in older Mexican Americans

Whitney M. Randolph, Glenn V. Ostir, Kyriakos S. Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of tooth loss, to examine risk factors for having fewer teeth or no teeth, and to describe the use of dental services in an older Mexican-American population. DESIGN: Data from the baseline phase of the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly survey conducted from 1993 to 1994, a cross-sectional survey of older Mexican Americans. SETTING: Five southwestern states: Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. PARTICIPANTS: 3,050 noninstitutionalized Mexican Americans age 65 to 99. RESULTS: Twenty-seven percent of the sample was completely edentulous and 22% reported visiting or speaking with a dental care professional in the preceding year. Logistic regression analyses showed that being older or being female was significantly associated with tooth loss, adjusting for education, income, smoking status, and diabetes mellitus. Current smokers (odds ratio (OR) = 1.69; 95% CI = 1.31-2.20) and diabetics (OR = 1.53; 95% CI = 1.27-1.84) were more at risk for tooth loss, as were persons of lower socioeconomic status. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of tooth loss and use of dental services in this population of older Mexican Americans is lower than what has been previously found among older people in the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-589
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Dental service
  • Edentulism
  • Mexican Americans
  • Older
  • Tooth loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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