Objectives: The aim of this study was (i) to determine the oral health status and oral health care needs of this population, (ii) to assess oral health-related quality of life using OHIP-14 and (iii) to explore whether there is a relationship between oral health status and oral health-related quality of life. Methods: A convenience sample was drawn from eight facilities catering for homeless people in south east London. Participants were invited to attend an outreach dental clinic and receive a clinical oral health and treatment needs assessment. The impact of oral disease was assessed using OHIP-14. Results: There were 102 people from a range of vulnerable housing situations invited to participate in the study. The mean age was 39.5 (SD ± 12.3) and 92% (n = 92) were men. The mean DMFT of dentate participants (n = 94) was 15.5 (SD ± 7.6), mean DT was 4.2 (SD ± 5.2), mean MT was 6.8 (SD ± 6.0) and mean FT was 4.6 (SD ± 4.8). Normative needs were extensive with 76% having a restorative need, 80% having a need for oral hygiene measures and periodontal treatment and 38% having a prosthetic treatment need. Ninety one per cent of homeless people experienced at least one impact and the mean number of impacts (n = 90) was 5.9 (SD ± 4.8).The most commonly experienced oral health-related quality of life impacts were in the dimension of pain, with aching in the mouth having a prevalence of 65% and discomfort while eating foods having a prevalence of 62%. Forty-four per cent felt handicapped by their oral condition. The experience of oral impact had only a slight relationship with clinical status and there were no differences in clinical status or oral impact by vulnerability of housing situation. Conclusions: Oral health care needs were extensive and greater than that of the general population in the UK, although disease levels were similar. While homeless people experienced many more oral impacts (as measured with OHIP-14) compared with adults of the same age in the general population in the UK, there was only a slight relationship with clinical status and oral health-related quality of life.
- Homeless persons
- Oral health care needs
- Oral health related quality of life