The Epidemic of Poor Oral Hygiene

December 1, 2018

In 2013, the New York Times published an article titled “In Nursing Homes, an Epidemic of Poor Dental Hygiene”—perhaps for the first time awakening public awareness to the importance and insufficiency of oral hygiene among residents in US nursing homes.1 It included data such as that almost 30% of 540 residents in 20 Kansas nursing homes,2 and 1000 residents in 24 Wisconsin nursing homes,3 had substantial debris on the majority of their teeth, and that in a study of 5 nursing homes in New York, only 16% of residents received any oral care, and when they did, the time spent tooth brushing was 16 seconds.