Objective: The purpose of this study is to describe the oral health status among psychiatric patients as compared to psychologically normal controls.
Method: A convenience sample of 100 patients who regularly attended a psychiatric clinic in King Saud University, King Khalid Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was selected as the study group. The control group consisted of 84 age- and gender-matched volunteers. All controls were screened using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and five persons were excluded based on this. All the participants were interviewed and a comprehensive review questionnaire designed for this survey was completed, then they were examined. The examination involved an extra-oral examination as well as examination of teeth and soft tissues using the decayed, missing, filled teeth (DMFT) index, the Silness and Löe plaque index and the bleeding index.
Results: The study group had more tenderness in the masticatory muscles, especially the temporalis muscle. Temporomandbular joint findings showed no significant differences between groups. Decayed, missing, filled teeth index, plaque and bleeding indices were higher among the study group. The incidence of scalloped tongue was significantly higher among psychiatric patients.
Conclusion: Oral health status is worse among psychiatric patients, who are more likely to develop some oral conditions, such as temporomandibular disorder and dental caries. It is necessary for both dental and mental healthcare providers to be aware of patients’ needs and preventive measures to be instituted for them.