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SILVA, Danielle Nunes Moura; COUTO, Erica de Araújo Brandão; BECKER, Helena Maria Gonçalves  and  BICALHO, Maria Aparecida Camargos. Orofacial characteristics of functionally independent elders. CoDAS [online]. 2017, vol.29, n.4, e20160240.  Epub July 20, 2017. ISSN 2317-1782.


to understand the main orofacial characteristics of functionally independent elderly individuals and to investigate their association with age, gender, socioeconomic level, and dental status.


an observational, cross-sectional, and analytical study was carried out with a non-probabilistic sample. Inclusion criteria: minimum age of 60 years, individual in good health conditions according to a pre-established protocol published by the health care service. In order to collect the data, we used the validated Orofacial Myofunctional Evaluation with Scores for Aged Protocol.


The elderly individuals presented normal patterns in more than 60% of the appearance and mobility parameters. Significant alterations observed were: pronounced nasolabial sulcus; flaccid or arched cheeks; labial sealing with tension or absence of sealing; and depressed labial commissures. Alterations in mobility were few, between 20.6% and 33.8%, with higher prevalence of alterations when raising the tongue, lateralizing air inflated in cheeks and jaw. There was no relationship between these findings and the progression of age and socioeconomic classes. Women were more likely to show normal appearance of lips and some alterations in lips mobility. The number of teeth was associated with the volume and shape of lips and with jaw mobility. In addition, the use of dental prosthesis was shown to be significantly related to the nasolabial sulcus aspect and the configuration/tension of cheeks.


This study suggests normal patterns of oromyofacial system in most functionally independent elderly individuals. It supports multidisciplinary action for prevention, promotion, and treatment of the elderly population’s oral functions.

Keywords : Aged; Aging; Health of the Elderly; Activities of Daily Living; Stomatognathic System.

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