Purpose: To describe oral health behaviours and problems among elderly Vietnamese as well as determine their
prevalence of caries and periodontal disease.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study examined 258 elderly persons aged 65–74 years living in Danang,
Vietnam. All subjects self-reported oral health behaviour and problems. Dental caries was assessed using the
DMFT index. Periodontal status was evaluated with the modified Community Periodontal Index, whereby all teeth
were examined for gingival bleeding and periodontal pocket depth (PPD), and the index teeth were assessed for
clinical attachment loss (CAL).
Results: 48.4% of the elderly brushed their teeth at least twice a day; 34% had never visited a dentist; 27.8%
often had difficulty chewing foods. Of the sample, mean DMFT was 14.3 ± 8.7 (DT = 6.4 ± 5.5, MT = 7.7 ± 7.1,
and FT = 0.2 ± 0.9), 88.8% had untreated caries, 21.0% had at least one tooth with a PPD ≥ 6 mm, and 49.8%
had at least one sextant with CAL ≥ 6 mm. The mean number of teeth per person was 22.0, of which 19.5 teeth
(88.6%) had gingival bleeding, 7.7 teeth (37.1%) with a PPD 4–5 mm, and 0.8 teeth (5.0%) with a PPD ≥ 6 mm.
The mean number of sextants with CAL 4–5 mm and CAL ≥ 6 mm were 2.5 ± 2.0 and 1.3 ± 1.7, respectively.
Rural residence was found to be negatively associated with MT, FT, and healthy periodontal status (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Dental diseases are prevalent among elderly Vietnamese owing to a lack of awareness of oral health
self-care behaviours, especially among those living in rural areas. This suggests that an oral health care programme
is required to improve the oral health status of elderly Vietnamese.