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1.  Oral health and social and emotional well-being in a birth cohort of Aboriginal Australian young adults 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:656.
Social and emotional well-being is an important component of overall health. In the Indigenous Australian context, risk indicators of poor social and emotional well-being include social determinants such as poor education, employment, income and housing as well as substance use, racial discrimination and cultural knowledge. This study sought to investigate associations between oral health-related factors and social and emotional well-being in a birth cohort of young Aboriginal adults residing in the northern region of Australia's Northern Territory.
Data were collected on five validated domains of social and emotional well-being: anxiety, resilience, depression, suicide and overall mental health. Independent variables included socio-demographics, dental health behaviour, dental disease experience, oral health-related quality of life, substance use, racial discrimination and cultural knowledge.
After adjusting for other covariates, poor oral health-related items were associated with each of the social and emotional well-being domains. Specifically, anxiety was associated with being female, having one or more decayed teeth and racial discrimination. Resilience was associated with being male, having a job, owning a toothbrush, having one or more filled teeth and knowing a lot about Indigenous culture; while being female, having experienced dental pain in the past year, use of alcohol, use of marijuana and racial discrimination were associated with depression. Suicide was associated with being female, having experience of untreated dental decay and racial discrimination; while being female, having experience of dental disease in one or more teeth, being dissatisfied about dental appearance and racial discrimination were associated with poor mental health.
The results suggest there may be value in including oral health-related initiatives when exploring the role of physical conditions on Indigenous social and emotional well-being.
PMCID: PMC3176220  PMID: 21851641
2.  Oral health literacy comparisons between Indigenous Australians and American Indians 
Community dental health  2013;30(1):52-57.
To compare oral health literacy (OHL) levels between two profoundly disadvantaged groups, Indigenous Australians and American Indians, and to explore differences in socio-demographic, dental service utilisation, self-reported oral health indicators, and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) correlates of OHL among the above.
OHL was measured using REALD-30 among convenience samples of 468 Indigenous Australians (aged 17–72 years, 63% female) and 254 female American Indians (aged 18–57 years). Covariates included socio-demography, dental utilisation, self-reported oral health status (OHS), perceived treatment needs and OHRQoL (prevalence, severity and extent of OHIP-14 ‘impacts’). Descriptive and bivariate methods were used for data presentation and analysis, and between-sample comparisons relied upon empirical contrasts of sample-specific estimates and correlation coefficients.
OHL scores were: Indigenous Australians - 15.0 (95% CL=14.2, 15.8) and American Indians - 13.7 (95% CL=13.1, 14.4). In both populations, OHL strongly correlated with educational attainment, and was lower among participants with infrequent dental attendance and perceived restorative treatment needs. A significant inverse association between OHL and prevalence of OHRQoL impacts was found among American Indians (rho=−0.23; 95% CL=−0.34, −0.12) but not among Indigenous Australians.
Our findings indicate that OHL levels were comparable between the two groups and lower compared to previously reported estimates among diverse populations. Although the patterns of association of OHL with most examined domains of correlates were similar between the two groups, this study found evidence of heterogeneity in the domains of self-reported OHS and OHRQoL.
PMCID: PMC3709981  PMID: 23550508
oral health literacy; oral health; Indigenous populations; Australian Indigenous; Native American; American Indian; quality of life
3.  Oral health and the impact of socio-behavioural factors in a cross sectional survey of 12-year old school children in Laos 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:29.
In recent decades low-income countries experienced an increasing trend in dental caries among children, particularly recorded in 12-year olds, which is the principal WHO indicator age group for children. This increases the risks of negative affects on children's life. Some data exist on the oral health status of children in low-income countries of Southeast Asia. However, information on how oral health is associated with socio-behavioural factors is almost not available. The aims of this study were to: assess the level of oral health of Lao 12-year-olds in urban and semi-urban settings; study the impact of poor oral health on quality of life; analyse the association between oral health and socio-behavioural factors; investigate the relation between obesity and oral health.
A cross sectional study of 12-year old schoolchildren chosen by multistage random sampling in Vientiane, Lao P.D.R (hereafter Laos). The final study population comprised 621 children. The study consisted of: clinical registration of caries and periodontal status, and scores for dental trauma according to WHO; structured questionnaire; measurement of anthropometric data. Frequency distributions for bi-variate analysis and logistic regression for multivariate analysis were used for assessment of statistical association between variables.
Mean DMFT was 1.8 (SEM = 0.09) while caries prevalence was 56% (CI95 = 52-60). Prevalence of gingival bleeding was 99% (CI95 = 98-100) with 47% (CI95 = 45-49) of present teeth affected. Trauma was observed in 7% (CI95 = 5-9) of the children. High decay was seen in children with dental visits and frequent consumption of sweet drinks. Missed school classes, tooth ache and several impairments of daily life activities were associated with a high dD-component. No associations were found between Body Mass Index (BMI) and oral health or common risk factors. The multivariate analyses revealed high risk for caries for children with low or moderate attitude towards health, a history of dental visits and a preference for drinking sugary drinks during school hours. Low risk was found for children with good or average perception of own oral health. High risk for gingival bleeding was seen in semi-urban children and boys.
Although the caries level is low it causes considerable negative impact on daily life. School based health promotion should be implemented focussing on skills based learning and attitudes towards health.
PMCID: PMC2781791  PMID: 19917089
4.  Associations between Indigenous Australian oral health literacy and self-reported oral health outcomes 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:3.
To determine oral health literacy (REALD-30) and oral health literacy-related outcome associations, and to calculate if oral health literacy-related outcomes are risk indicators for poor self-reported oral health among rural-dwelling Indigenous Australians.
468 participants (aged 17-72 years, 63% female) completed a self-report questionnaire. REALD-30 and oral health literacy-related outcome associations were determined through bivariate analysis. Multivariate modelling was used to calculate risk indicators for poor self-reported oral health.
REALD-30 scores were lower among those who believed teeth should be infrequently brushed, believed cordial was good for teeth, did not own a toothbrush or owned a toothbrush but brushed irregularly. Tooth removal risk indicators included being older, problem-based dental attendance and believing cordial was good for teeth. Poor self-rated oral health risk indicators included being older, healthcare card ownership, difficulty paying dental bills, problem-based dental attendance, believing teeth should be brushed infrequently and irregular brushing. Perceived need for dental care risk indicators included being female and problem-based dental attendance. Perceived gum disease risk indicators included being older and irregular brushing. Feeling uncomfortable about oro-facial appearance risk indicators included problem-based dental attendance and irregular brushing. Food avoidance risk indicators were being female, difficulty paying dental bills, problem-based dental attendance and irregular brushing. Poor oral health-related quality of life risk indicators included difficulty paying dental bills and problem-based dental attendance.
REALD-30 was significantly associated with oral health literacy-related outcomes. Oral health literacy-related outcomes were risk indicators for each of the poor self-reported oral health domains among this marginalised population.
PMCID: PMC2859391  PMID: 20346124
5.  Socio-demographic and behavioural correlates of oral hygiene status and oral health related quality of life, the Limpopo - Arusha school health project (LASH): A cross-sectional study 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:87.
Promoting oral health of adolescents is important for improvement of oral health globally. This study used baseline-data from LASH-project targeting secondary students to; 1) assess frequency of poor oral hygiene status and oral impacts on daily performances, OIDP, by socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics, 2) examine whether socio-economic and behavioural correlates of oral hygiene status and OIDP differed by gender and 3) examine whether socio-demographic disparity in oral health was explained by oral health-related behaviours.
Cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 using one-stage cluster sampling design. Total of 2412 students (mean age 15.2 yr) completed self-administered questionnaires, whereas 1077 (mean age 14.9 yr) underwent dental-examination. Bivariate analyses were conducted using cross-tabulations and chi-square statistics. Multiple variable analyses were conducted using stepwise standardized logistic regression (SLR) with odds ratios and 95% Confidence intervals (CI).
44.8% presented with fair to poor OHIS and 48.2% reported any OIDP. Older students, those from low socio-economic status families, had parents who couldn't afford dental care and had low educational-level reported oral impacts, poor oral hygiene, irregular toothbrushing, less dental attendance and fewer intakes of sugar-sweetened drinks more frequently than their counterparts. Stepwise logistic regression revealed that reporting any OIDP was independently associated with; older age-groups, parents do not afford dental care, smoking experience, no dental visits and fewer intakes of sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Behavioural factors accounted partly for association between low family SES and OIDP. Low family SES, no dental attendance and smoking experience were most important in males. Low family SES and fewer intakes of sugar-sweetened soft drinks were the most important correlates in females.
Socio-behavioural factors associated with higher odds ratios for poor OHIS were; older age, belonging to the poorest household category and having parents who did not afford dental care across both genders.
Disparities in oral hygiene status and OIDP existed in relation to age, affording dental care, smoking and intake of sugar sweetened soft drinks. Gender differences should be considered in intervention studies, and modifiable behaviours have some relevance in reducing social disparity in oral health.
PMCID: PMC3001697  PMID: 21118499
6.  Oral health investigations of indigenous participants in remote settings: a methods paper describing the dental component of wave III of an Australian Aboriginal birth cohort study 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:24.
A prospective Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) study has been underway in Australia's Northern Territory since 1987. Inclusion of oral epidemiological information in a follow-up study required flexible and novel approaches with unconventional techniques. Documenting these procedures may be of value to researchers interested in including oral health components in remotely-located studies. The objectives are to compare and describe dental data collection methods in wave III of the ABC study with a more conventional oral health investigation.
The Australian National Survey of Adult Oral Health (NSAOH) was considered the 'conventional' study. Differences between this investigation and the dental component of the ABC study were assessed in terms of ethics, location, recruitment, consent, privacy, equipment, examination, clinical data collection and replication. In the ABC study, recording of clinical data by different voice recording techniques were described and assessed for ease-of-use portability, reliability, time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Conventional investigation recruitment was by post and telephone. Participants self presented. Examinations took place in dental clinics, using customised dental chairs with standard dental lights attached. For all examinations, a dental assistant recorded dental data directly onto a laptop computer. By contrast, follow-up of ABC study participants involved a multi-phase protocol with reliance on locally-employed Indigenous advocates bringing participants to the examination point. Dental examinations occurred in settings ranging from health centre clinic rooms to improvised spaces outdoors. The dental chair was a lightweight, portable reclining camp chair and the dental light a fire-fighter's head torch with rechargeable batteries. The digital voice recorder was considered the most suitable instrument for clinical dental data collection in the ABC study in comparison with computer-based voice-recording software.
Oral health examinations among indigenous populations residing in predominantly remote locations are more logistically challenging than are surveys of the general population. However, lack of resources or conventional clinical infrastructures need not compromise the collection of dental data in such studies. Instead, there is a need to be flexible and creative in establishing culturally-sensitive environments with available resources, and to consider non-conventional approaches to data gathering.
PMCID: PMC2527296  PMID: 18702826
7.  Self-efficacy and self-rated oral health among pregnant aboriginal Australian women 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14:29.
Self-efficacy plays an important role in oral health-related behaviours. There is little known about associations between self-efficacy and subjective oral health among populations at heightened risk of dental disease. This study aimed to determine if low self-efficacy was associated with poor self-rated oral health after adjusting for confounding among a convenience sample of pregnant women.
We used self-reported data from 446 Australian women pregnant with an Aboriginal child (age range 14–43 years) to evaluate self-rated oral health, self-efficacy and socio-demographic, psychosocial, social cognitive and risk factors. Hierarchical entry of explanatory variables into logistic regression models estimated prevalence odds ratios (POR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for fair or poor self-rated oral health.
In an unadjusted model, those with low self-efficacy had 2.40 times the odds of rating their oral health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ (95% CI 1.54–3.74). Addition of socio-demographic factors attenuated the effect of low self-efficacy on poor self-rated oral health by 10 percent (POR 2.19, 95% CI 1.37–3.51). Addition of the psychosocial factors attenuated the odds by 17 percent (POR 2.07, 95% CI 1.28–3.36), while addition of the social cognitive variable fatalism increased the odds by 1 percent (POR 2.42, 95% CI 1.55–3.78). Inclusion of the behavioural risk factor ‘not brushing previous day’ attenuated the odds by 15 percent (POR 2.11, 95%CI 1.32–3.36). In the final model, which included all covariates, the odds were attenuated by 32 percent (POR 1.80, 95% CI 1.05, 3.08).
Low self-efficacy persisted as a risk indicator for poor self-rated oral health after adjusting for confounding among this vulnerable population.
PMCID: PMC3976034  PMID: 24690235
8.  Factors Associated with Toothache among African American Adolescents Living in Rural South Carolina 
Social work in public health  2011;26(7):695-707.
The aim of this study is to explore behavioral factors associated with toothache among African American adolescents living in rural South Carolina.
Using a self-administered questionnaire, data were collected on toothache experience in the past 12 months, oral hygiene behavior, dental care utilization, and cariogenic snack and non-diet soft drink consumption in a convenience sample of 156 African American adolescents aged 10-18 years old living in rural South Carolina. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to assess the associations between reported toothache experience and socio-demographic variables, oral health behavior, and snack consumption.
Thirty-four percent of adolescents reported having toothache in the past 12 months. In univariable modeling, age, dental visit in the last two years, quantity and frequency of cariogenic snack consumption, and quantity of non-diet soft drink consumption were each significantly associated with experiencing toothache in the past 12 months (all p-values < 0.05). Multivariable logistic regression analysis indicated that younger age, frequent consumption of cariogenic snacks, and number of cans of non-diet soft drink consumed during the weekend significantly increased the odds of experiencing toothache in the past 12 months (all p-values ≤ 0.01).
Findings indicate age, frequent consumption of cariogenic snacks and number of cans of non-diet soft drinks are related to toothache in this group. Public policy implications related to selling cariogenic snacks and soft drink that targeting children and adolescents especially those from low income families are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3515648  PMID: 22085328
Dental pain; carbonated beverages; dietary sucrose; rural health; questionnaire
9.  Brief oral health promotion intervention among parents of young children to reduce early childhood dental decay 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:245.
Severe untreated dental decay affects a child’s growth, body weight, quality of life as well as cognitive development, and the effects extend beyond the child to the family, the community and the health care system. Early health behavioural factors, including dietary practices and eating patterns, can play a major role in the initiation and development of oral diseases, particularly dental caries. The parent/caregiver, usually the mother, has a critical role in the adoption of protective health care behaviours and parental feeding practices strongly influence children’s eating behaviours. This study will test if an early oral health promotion intervention through the use of brief motivational interviewing (MI) and anticipatory guidance (AG) approaches can reduce the incidence of early childhood dental decay and obesity.
The study will be a randomised controlled study with parents and their new-born child/ren who are seen at 6–12 weeks of age by a child/community health nurse. Consenting parents will complete a questionnaire on oral health knowledge, behaviours, self-efficacy, oral health fatalism, parenting stress, prenatal and peri-natal health and socio-demographic factors at study commencement and at 12 and 36 months. Each child–parent pair will be allocated to an intervention or a standard care group, using a computer-generated random blocks. The standard group will be managed through the standard early oral health screening program; “lift the lip”. The intervention group will be provided with tailored oral health counselling by oral health consultants trained in MI and AG.
Participating children will be examined at 24, and 36 months for the occurrence of dental decay and have their height and weight recorded. Dietary information obtained from a food frequency chart will be used to determine food and dietary patterns. Data analysis will use intention to treat and per protocol analysis and will use tests of independent proportions and means. Multivariate statistical tests will also be used to take account of socio-economic and demographic factors in addition to parental knowledge, behaviour, self-efficacy, and parent/child stress.
The study will test the effects of an oral health promotion intervention to affect oral health and general health and have the potential to demonstrate the “common risk factor” approach to health promotion.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: http://ACTRN12611000997954
PMCID: PMC3610190  PMID: 23509932
Motivational interviewing; Anticipatory guidance; Early childhood dental decay; Oral health promotion
10.  An oral health literacy intervention for Indigenous adults in a rural setting in Australia 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:461.
Indigenous Australians suffer substantially poorer oral health than their non-Indigenous counterparts and new approaches are needed to address these disparities. Previous work in Port Augusta, South Australia, a regional town with a large Indigenous community, revealed associations between low oral health literacy scores and self-reported oral health outcomes. This study aims to determine if implementation of a functional, context-specific oral health literacy intervention improves oral health literacy-related outcomes measured by use of dental services, and assessment of oral health knowledge, oral health self-care and oral health- related self-efficacy.
This is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) that utilises a delayed intervention design. Participants are Indigenous adults, aged 18 years and older, who plan to reside in Port Augusta or a nearby community for the next two years. The intervention group will receive the intervention from the outset of the study while the control group will be offered the intervention 12 months following their enrolment in the study. The intervention consists of a series of five culturally sensitive, oral health education workshops delivered over a 12 month period by Indigenous project officers. Workshops consist of presentations, hands-on activities, interactive displays, group discussions and role plays. The themes addressed in the workshops are underpinned by oral health literacy concepts, and incorporate oral health-related self-efficacy, oral health-related fatalism, oral health knowledge, access to dental care and rights and entitlements as a patient. Data will be collected through a self-report questionnaire at baseline, at 12 months and at 24 months. The primary outcome measure is oral health literacy. Secondary outcome measures include oral health knowledge, oral health self-care, use of dental services, oral health-related self-efficacy and oral health-related fatalism.
This study uses a functional, context-specific oral health literacy intervention to improve oral health literacy-related outcomes amongst rural-dwelling Indigenous adults. Outcomes of this study will have implications for policy and planning by providing evidence for the effectiveness of such interventions as well as provide a model for working with Indigenous communities.
PMCID: PMC3416720  PMID: 22716205
11.  Common risk factor approach to address socioeconomic inequality in the oral health of preschool children – a prospective cohort study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:429.
Dental caries remains the most prevalent chronic condition in children and a major contributor to poor general health. There is ample evidence of a skewed distribution of oral health, with a small proportion of children in the population bearing the majority of the burden of the disease. This minority group is comprised disproportionately of socioeconomically disadvantaged children. An in-depth longitudinal study is needed to better understand the determinants of child oral health, in order to support effective evidence-based policies and interventions in improving child oral health. The aim of the Study of Mothers’ and Infants’ Life Events Affecting Oral Health (SMILE) project is to identify and evaluate the relative importance and timing of critical factors that shape the oral health of young children and then to seek to evaluate those factors in their inter-relationship with socioeconomic influences.
This investigation will apply an observational prospective study design to a cohort of socioeconomically-diverse South Australian newborns and their mothers, intensively following these dyads as the children grow to toddler age. Mothers of newborn children will be invited to participate in the study in the early post-partum period. At enrolment, data will be collected on parental socioeconomic status, mothers’ general and dental health conditions, details of the pregnancy, infant feeding practice and parental health behaviours and practices. Data on diet and feeding practices, oral health behaviours and practices, and dental visiting patterns will be collected at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months of age. When children turn 24-30 months, the children and their mothers/primary care givers will be invited to an oral examination to record oral health status. Anthropometric assessment will also be conducted.
This prospective cohort study will examine a wide range of determinants influencing child oral health and related general conditions such as overweight. It will lead to the evaluation of the inter-relationship among main influences and their relative effect on child oral health. The study findings will provide high level evidence of pathways through which socio-environmental factors impact child oral health. It will also provide an opportunity to examine the relationship between oral health and childhood overweight.
PMCID: PMC4039048  PMID: 24885129
Children; Early childhood caries; Socioeconomic inequality; Prospective cohort study
12.  Illness-related behaviour and utilization of oral health services among adult city-dwellers in Burkina Faso: evidence from a household survey 
In sub-Saharan Africa, the availability and accessibility of oral health services are seriously constrained and the provision of essential oral care is limited. Reports from the region show a very low utilization of oral health care services, and visits to dental-care facilities are mostly undertaken for symptomatic reasons. The objectives of the present study were to describe the prevalence of oral symptoms among adults in Ouagadougou, capital city of Burkina Faso and the use of oral health services and self-medication in response to these symptoms and to measure the associations between predisposing, enabling and needs factors and decisions to seek oral health care.
The conceptual design of the study was derived from both the Andersen-Newman model of health care utilization and the conceptual framework of the WHO International Collaborative Study of Oral Health Outcomes. Data were obtained by two-stage stratified sampling through four areas representative of different stages of urbanization of Ouagadougou. The final study population comprised 3030 adults aged 15 years or over and the response rate was 65%.
Overall, 28% of the respondents had experienced an oral health problem during the past 12 months; a high proportion (62%) reported pain or acute discomfort affecting daily life. In response to symptoms, only 28% used oral health facilities, 48% used self-medication and 24% sought no treatment at all. Multivariate analyses revealed that several socio-economic and socio-cultural factors such as religious affiliation, material living conditions and participation in a social network were significantly associated with the use of oral health care services by adults who had experienced oral health problems during the previous year.
The proportion of people who have obtained oral health care is alarmingly low in Ouagadougou and self-medication appears to be an important alternative source of care for adult city-dwellers. Decision-makers in sub-Saharan countries must seek to ensure that access to essential oral health care is improved.
PMCID: PMC1769368  PMID: 17192172
13.  The prevalence and severity of oral impacts on daily performances in Thai primary school children 
Traditional methods of measuring oral health mainly use clinical dental indices and have been complemented by oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) measures. Most OHRQoL studies have been on adults and elderly populations. There are no systematic OHRQoL studies of a population-based sample of children. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence, characteristics and severity of oral impacts in primary school children.
Cross-sectional study of all 1126 children aged 11–12 years in a municipal area of Suphanburi province, Thailand. An OHRQoL measure, Child-Oral Impacts on Daily Performances index (Child-OIDP) was used to assess oral impacts. Children were also clinically examined and completed a self-administered questionnaire about demographic information and oral behaviours.
89.8% of children had one or more oral impacts. The median impact score was 7.6 and mean score was 8.8. Nearly half (47.0%) of the children with impacts had impacts at very little or little levels of intensity. Most (84.8%) of those with impacts had 1–4 daily performances affected (out of 8 performances). Eating was the most common performance affected (72.9%). The severity of impacts was high for eating and smiling and low for study and social contact performances. The main clinical causes of impacts were sensitive tooth (27.9%), oral ulcers (25.8%), toothache (25.1%) and an exfoliating primary tooth (23.4%).
The study reveals that oral health impacts on quality of life in Thai primary school children. Oral impacts were prevalent, but not severe. The impacts mainly related to difficulty eating and smiling. Toothache, oral ulcers and natural processes contributed largely to the incidence of oral impacts.
PMCID: PMC529463  PMID: 15476561
oral impacts; quality of life; children
14.  Oral health related quality of life is important for patients, but what about populations? 
To review population-based research into oral health related quality of life.
Narrative review of selected publications.
In the 1970s, there were two incentives to assess non-clinical aspects of health: 1) a desire to understand impacts of disease on individuals’ quality of life; 2) a search for population-level measures that might better quantify the impact of health care systems on populations. Dental researchers responded to those incentives, creating dozens of questionnaires that assess individuals’ ratings of subjective oral health and quality of life. This has been a boon for clinical dental research, for example, by showing marked improvements in subjective oral health in patients receiving implant-supported dentures. Also, health surveys show poorer subjective oral health among disadvantaged population groups. However, the same measures show only modest benefits of general dental care. Furthermore, several population surveys show that today’s young adults, who grew up with widespread exposure to preventive dental programs, have poorer subjective oral health than earlier generations that experienced unprecedented levels of oral disease. Yet to materialize is the hope that “socio-dental indicators” of subjective oral health might provide a meaningful metric to demonstrate population-level benefits of dental care. A fundamental limitation is that population health is a contextual measure, not merely the aggregated health status of individuals within the population.
While researchers have successfully broken with clinical dogma by assessing subjective dimensions of individuals’ oral health, they have failed to explicitly ask people to assess the oral health of the community in which they live.
PMCID: PMC3652582  PMID: 22998303
oral health; quality of life; health surveys; epidemiology
15.  Socioeconomic differences in self-rated oral health and dental care utilisation after the dental care reform in 2008 in Sweden 
BMC Oral Health  2014;14(1):134.
The aims of this study were to determine self-rated oral health and dental attendance habits among Swedish adults, with special reference to the role of social inequalities, after the Swedish dental care reform in 2008.
The study is based on a survey questionnaire, sent to 12,235 residents of a Swedish county, in 2012. The age group was 16–84 years: 5,999 (49%) responded. Using chi-square statistics, differences in prevalence of self-rated oral health and regular dental attendance were analysed with respect to gender, age, educational level, family status, employment status and country of birth. Self-rated poor oral health was analysed by multivarite logistic regression adjusting for the different socio-demographic factors, financial security and having refrained from dental treatment for financial reasons.
Three out of four respondents (75%) reported fairly good or very good oral health. Almost 90% claimed to be regular dental attenders. Those who were financially secure reported better oral health. The differences in oral health between those with a cash margin and those without were large whereas the differences between age groups were rather small. About 8% reported that they had refrained from dental treatment for financial reasons during the last three months. Self-rated poor oral health was most common among the unemployed, those on disability pension or on long-term sick leave, those born outside the Nordic countries and those with no cash margin (odds ratios ranging from 2.4 to 4.4). The most important factor contributing to these differences was having refrained from dental treatment for financial reasons.
The results are relevant to strategies intended to reduce social inequalities in oral health, affirming the importance of the provision of equitable access to dental care.
PMCID: PMC4240880  PMID: 25403781
Adult; Self-rated oral health; Health inequality; Dental care attendance; Epidemiology; Sweden
16.  Oral health status and treatment needs of children and young adults attending a day centre for individuals with special health care needs 
BMC Oral Health  2008;8:30.
The oral health condition of individuals with special health care needs have been reported in literature to be influenced by various sociodemographic factors, including living conditions and severity of impairment. This study was carried out to determine the oral health status and treatment needs of children and young adults attending a day institution for those with special needs.
This study was carried out as part of an oral health screening program organized by the institution and consent was obtained from parents and guardians before the screening. All information was supplied by the parents during the screening using a questionnaire completed by the dentist. Oral examination was carried out on all consenting subjects in attendance on the days of screening in the school clinic with parents and teachers in attendance, using standard World Health Organisation oral health indices to assess dental caries, oral hygiene status, malocclusion and other oral health parameters.
Fifty-four subjects aged 3–26 years (mean 12.28 ± 6.82 years) and comprising 72.2% males and 27.8% females participated in the study. Over 90% were from parents of high and middle level educational background. Thirty-six (66.7%) were caries free, with a mean dmft score of 0.7 ± 1.77 and mean DMFT score of 0.4 ± 1.44 with no significant difference across gender (p = 0.5) and parents' educational status (p = 0.43). The mean OHI-S of the total population in this study was 1.36 ± 0.16. Females had a mean score of 0.88 ± 1.10 while males had a mean score of 1.55 ± 1.24 with no significant difference (p = 0.6). Twenty-five (46.3%) had good oral hygiene, 17 (31.5%) had fair oral hygiene and 12 (22.2%) had poor oral hygiene, with no significant difference across gender (p = 1.11) and age groups (p = 0.07). Fifteen (27.8%) had gingivitis with no significant difference across age groups (p = 0.17). Forty-five (83.3%) had Angle's class I malocclusion, 6(11.1%) class II and 3 (5.6%) class III. Chronologic enamel hypoplasia was found in 9 (16.7%) of the total population. Up to 53.7% of the total population will require oral prophylaxis, 33.3% required restorations on their posterior teeth and 12.9% required veneers for labial facing of hypoplastic enamel.
The subjects in this study had a high prevalence of dental caries and need for restorative care. They would benefit from parental education on diet modification, improvement of oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits.
PMCID: PMC2579283  PMID: 18945371
17.  Association between parental guilt and oral health problems in preschool children: a hierarchical approach 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):854.
Dental caries and traumatic dental injury (TDI) can play an important role in the emergence of parental guilt, since parents feel responsible for their child’s health. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of oral health problems among preschool children on parental guilt.
A preschool-based, cross-sectional study was carried out with 832 preschool children between three and five years of age in the city of Campina Grande, Brazil. Parents/caregivers answered the Brazilian version of the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (B-ECOHIS). The item "parental guilt" was the dependent variable. Questionnaires addressing socio-demographic variables (child’s sex, child’s age, parent’s/caregiver’s age, mother’s schooling, type of preschool and household income), history of toothache and health perceptions (general and oral) were also administered. Clinical exams for dental caries and TDI were performed by three dentists who had undergone a training and calibration exercise (Kappa: 0.85-0.90). Poisson hierarchical regression was used to determine the significance of associations between parental guilt and oral health problems (α = 5%). The multivariate model was carried out on three levels using a hierarchical approach from distal to proximal determinants: 1) socio-demographic aspects; 2) health perceptions; and 3) oral health problems.
The frequency of parental guilt was 22.8%. The following variables were significantly associated with parental guilt: parental perception of child’s oral health as poor (PR = 2.010; 95% CI: 1.502-2.688), history of toothache (PR = 2.344; 95% CI: 1.755-3.130), cavitated lesions (PR = 2.002; 95% CI: 1.388-2.887), avulsion/luxation (PR = 2.029; 95% CI: 1.141-3.610) and tooth discoloration (PR = 1.540; 95% CI: 1.169-2.028).
Based on the present findings, parental guilt increases with the occurrence of oral health problems that require treatment, such as dental caries and TDI of greater severity. Parental perceptions of poor oral health in their children and history of toothache were predictors of greater feelings of parental guilt.
PMCID: PMC4150983  PMID: 25128429
Guilt; Dental caries; Tooth injuries; Preschool child
18.  Validation of Self-Reported Information on Dental Caries in a Birth Cohort at 18 Years of Age 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e106382.
Estimate the prevalence of dental caries based on clinical examinations and self-reports and compare differences in the prevalence and effect measures between the two methods among 18-year-olds belonging to a 1993 birth cohort in the city of Pelotas, Brazil.
Data on self-reported caries, socio-demographic aspects and oral health behaviour were collected using a questionnaire administered to adolescents aged 18 years (n = 4041). Clinical caries was evaluated (n = 1014) by a dentist who had undergone training and calibration exercises. Prevalence rates of clinical and self-reported caries, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, absolute and relative bias, and inflation factors were calculated. Prevalence ratios of dental caries were estimated for each risk factor.
The prevalence of clinical and self-reported caries (DMFT>1) was 66.5% (95%CI: 63.6%–69.3%) and 60.3% (95%CI: 58.8%–61.8%), respectively. Self-reports underestimated the prevalence of dental caries by 9.3% in comparison to clinical evaluations. The analysis of the validity of self-reports regarding the DMFT index indicated high sensitivity (81.8%; 95%CI: 78.7%–84.7%) and specificity (78.1%; 95%CI: 73.3%–82.4%) in relation to the gold standard (clinical evaluation). Both the clinical and self-reported evaluations were associated with gender, schooling and self-rated oral health. Clinical dental caries was associated with visits to the dentist in the previous year. Self-reported dental caries was associated with daily tooth brushing frequency.
Based on the present findings, self-reported information on dental caries using the DMFT index requires further studies prior to its use in the analysis of risk factors, but is valid for population-based health surveys with the aim of planning and monitoring oral health actions directed at adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4159228  PMID: 25202969
19.  Evaluation of oral health-related quality of life among Sudanese schoolchildren using Child-OIDP inventory 
Information on oral health-related quality of life, in addition to clinical measures, is essential for healthcare policy makers to promote oral health resources and address oral health needs.
This paper aimed at evaluating the psychometric properties of the Arabic version of Child-OIDP, estimating the prevalence, severity and causes of oral impacts on daily performances in 12-year-old public and private school attendees in Khartoum State and to identify socio-demographic and clinical correlates of oral impacts as assessed by the Child-OIDP inventory.
The Child-OIDP questionnaire was translated into Arabic was administered to a representative sample of 1109 schoolchildren in Khartoum state. Clinical measures employed in this study included DMFT index, Gingival index, Plaque index and Dean's index. A food frequency questionnaire was used to study the sugar-sweetened snack consumption.
The instrument showed acceptable psychometric properties and is considered as a valid, reliable (Cronbach's alpha 0.73) and practical inventory for use in this population. An impact was reported by 54.6% of the schoolchildren. The highest impact was reported on eating (35.5%) followed by cleaning (28.3%) and the lowest impacts were on speaking (8.6%) and social contact (8.7%). Problems which contributed to all eight impacts were toothache, sensitive teeth, exfoliating teeth, swollen gums and bad breath. Toothache was the most frequently associated cause of almost all impacts in both private and public school attendees. After adjusting for confounders in the 3 multiple variable regression models (whole sample, public and private school attendees), active caries maintained a significant association with the whole sample (OR 2.0 95% CI 1.4-2.6) and public school attendees (OR 3.5 95% CI 2.1-5.6), and higher SES was associated with only public school attendees' Child-OIDP (OR 1.9 95% 1.1-3.1).
This study showed that the Arabic version of the Child-OIDP was applicable for use among schoolchildren in Khartoum. Despite the low prevalence of the dental caries pathology (24%), a significant relationship, with an average moderate intensity was found with OHRQoL. Focus in this population should be on oral health education, improving knowledge of the prospective treatment opportunities and provision of such services.
PMCID: PMC3019139  PMID: 21182769
20.  Chewing impairment and associated factors among adults 
Revista de Saúde Pública  2013;47(6):1028-1038.
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of chewing impairment according to sex, and its associated factors in adults.
A cross-sectional population-based study was carried out with 2,016 subjects aged between 20 and 59 years in Florianopolis, SC, Southern Brazil, in 2009. The sampling was undertaken in two stages, census tracts and households. The outcome 'chewing impairment' was obtained from the question "How often do you have chewing impairment due to teeth or denture problems?". Analyses were carried out with demographics and socioeconomic factors, dental services utilization, and self-related oral health using multivariable logistic regression and stratified by sex.
The response rate was 85.3% (1,720 adults). The prevalence of chewing impairment was 13,0% (95%CI 10.3;15.8) and 18,0% (95%CI 14.6;21.3) among men and women, respectively. Women and men fifty years old and over, who had ten or fewer natural teeth and those who reported toothache were more likely to have chewing impairment. The combination of tooth loss and toothache on chewing impairment was almost four times higher among women.
The magnitude of the associations among socioeconomic, demographics and self-related oral health factors was different according to sex, in general higher for women, with emphasis on toothache. The findings suggest that the impact of oral conditions varies by sex.
PMCID: PMC4206107  PMID: 24626541
Adult; Mastication; Socioeconomic Factors; Gender and Health; Oral Health; Dental Health Surveys
21.  Dental caries and associated factors among primary school children in Bahir Dar city: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):949.
Dental caries is the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood caused by the interaction of bacteria, mainly Streptococcus mutans and sugary foods on tooth enamel. This study aimed at determining the prevalence and associated factors of dental caries among primary school children at Bahir Dar city.
A school based cross-sectional study was conducted at Bahir Dar city from October 2013 to January 2014. Systematic random sampling technique was used to select the children. Structured questionnaire was used to interview children and/or parents to collect socio demographic variables. Clinical dental information obtained by experienced dentist using dental caries criteria set by World Health Organization. Binary and multiple logistic regression analysis were computed to investigate factors associated with dental caries.
Of the 147 children, 82 (55.4%) were girls. Majority of the children (67.6%) cleaned their teeth using traditional method (small stick of wood made of a special type of plant). The proportion of children having dental caries was 32 (21.8%). Primary tooth decay accounted for 24 (75%) of dental caries. The proportion of missed teeth was 7 (4.8%). The overall proportion of toothache and dental plaque among school children were 40 (27.2%) and 99 (67.3%), respectively. Grade level of 1–4 (AOR = 3.9, CI = 1.49 -10.4), poor habit of tooth cleaning (AOR = 2.6, CI = 1.08 - 6.2), dental plaque (AOR = 5.3, CI = 1.6 - 17.7) and toothache (AOR = 6.3, CI = 2.4 – 15.4) were significantly associated with dental caries.
Dental caries is a common public health problem in school children associated with poor oral hygiene, dietary and dental visit habits. Therefore, prevention measures such as health education on oral hygiene, dietary habits and importance of dental visit are obligatory for children.
PMCID: PMC4307198  PMID: 25540044
Dental caries; Dental plaque; Children
22.  Impact of oral health conditions on the quality of life of preschool children and their families: a cross-sectional study 
Dental caries, traumatic dental injury (TDI) and malocclusion are common oral health conditions among preschool children and can have both physical and psychosocial consequences. Thus, it is important to measure the impact these on the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) of children. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of oral health conditions on the OHRQoL of preschool children and their families.
A preschool-based, cross-sectional study was carried out with 843 preschool children in the city of Campina Grande, Brazil. Parents/caregivers answered the Brazilian Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale and a questionnaire addressing socio-demographic data as well as the parent’s/caregiver’s perceptions regarding their child’s health. Clinical exams were performed by three researchers who had undergone a calibration process for the diagnosis of dental caries, TDI and malocclusion (K = 0.83-0.85). Hierarchical Poisson regression was employed to determine the strength of associations between oral health conditions and OHRQoL (α = 5%). The multivariate model was run on three levels obeying a hierarchical approach from distal to proximal determinants: 1) socio-demographic data; 2) perceptions of health; and 3) oral health conditions.
The prevalence of impact from oral health conditions on OHRQoL was 32.1% among the children and 26.2% among the families. The following variables were significantly associated with a impact on OHRQoL among the children: birth order of child (PR = 1.430; 95% CI: 1.045-1.958), parent’s/caregiver’s perception of child’s oral health as poor (PR = 1.732; 95% CI: 1.399-2.145), cavitated lesions (PR = 2.596; 95% CI: 1.982-3.400) and TDI (PR = 1.413; 95% CI: 1.161-1.718). The following variables were significantly associated with a impact on OHRQoL among the families: parent’s/caregiver’s perception of child’s oral health as poor (PR = 2.116; 95% CI: 1.624-2.757), cavitated lesions (PR = 2.809; 95% CI: 2.009-3.926) and type of TDI (PR = 2.448; 95% CI: 1.288-4.653).
Cavitated lesions and TDI exerted a impact on OHRQoL of the preschool children and their families. Parents’/caregivers’ perception of their child’s oral health as poor and the birth order of the child were predictors of a greater impact on OHRQoL.
PMCID: PMC4002905  PMID: 24745700
Quality of life; Dental caries; Malocclusion; Tooth injuries; Preschool child
23.  Validation of two complementary oral-health related quality of life indicators (OIDP and OSS 0-10 ) in two qualitatively distinct samples of the Spanish population 
Oral health-related quality of life can be assessed positively, by measuring satisfaction with mouth, or negatively, by measuring oral impact on the performance of daily activities. The study objective was to validate two complementary indicators, i.e., the OIDP (Oral Impacts on Daily Performances) and Oral Satisfaction 0–10 Scale (OSS), in two qualitatively different socio-demographic samples of the Spanish adult population, and to analyse the factors affecting both perspectives of well-being.
A cross-sectional study was performed, recruiting a Validation Sample from randomly selected Health Centres in Granada (Spain), representing the general population (n = 253), and a Working Sample (n = 561) randomly selected from active Regional Government staff, i.e., representing the more privileged end of the socio-demographic spectrum of this reference population. All participants were examined according to WHO methodology and completed an in-person interview on their oral impacts and oral satisfaction using the OIDP and OSS 0–10 respectively. The reliability and validity of the two indicators were assessed. An alternative method of describing the causes of oral impacts is presented.
The reliability coefficient (Cronbach's alpha) of the OIDP was above the recommended 0.7 threshold in both Validation and Occupational samples (0.79 and 0.71 respectively). Test-retest analysis confirmed the external reliability of the OSS (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, 0.89; p < 0.001) Some subjective factors (perceived need for dental treatment, complaints about mouth and intermediate impacts) were strongly associated with both indicators, supporting their construct and criterion validity. The main cause of oral impact was dental pain. Several socio-demographic, behavioural and clinical variables were identified as modulating factors.
OIDP and OSS are valid and reliable subjective measures of oral impacts and oral satisfaction, respectively, in an adult Spanish population. Exploring simultaneously these issues may provide useful insights into how satisfaction and impact on well-being are constructed.
PMCID: PMC2631008  PMID: 19019208
24.  Oral health related behaviors among adult Tanzanians: a national pathfinder survey 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:22.
The oral health education programs which have been organised and delivered in Tanzania were not based on a thorough understanding of behaviours which influence oral health. Therefore, evaluation of these programs became difficult. This study aimed at investigating the oral health related behaviours and their determinants among Tanzanian adults.
A national pathfinder cross sectional survey was conducted in 2006 involving 1759 respondents from the six geographic zones of mainland Tanzania. Frequency distributions, Chi square and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed using SPSS version 13.0.
The rates of abstinence from alcohol for the past 30 days and life time smoking were 61.6% and 16.7% respectively, with males being more likely to smoke (OR 9.2, CI 6.3 -12.9, p < 0.001) and drink alcohol (OR 1.5, CI 1.2 -1.8, p < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis revealed that; having dental pain (OR 0.7, CI 0.5-0.8; p < 0.001) and being minimally educated (OR 0.48, CI 0.4-0.6; p < 0.001) reduced the likelihood of having a high sugar score. Whereas being male (OR 1.5, CI 1.2- 1.8; p < 0.001), urban (OR 1.9, CI 1.5 -2.3; p < 0.001), and young (OR 1.5, CI 1.2 -1.8; p < 0.001) increased the likelihood of having a high sugar score. Urban residents were less likely to take alcohol (OR 0.7, CI 0.6-0.9; p < 0.01), or smoke cigarette (OR = 0.7, CI = 0.6-0.9); less likely to be those who do not use fruits (OR 0.3, CI 0.2-0.4; p < 0.001); dental clinic (OR 0.5, CI 0.4-0.7; p < 0.001); factory made tooth brushes (OR 0.1, CI 0.08-0.17; p < 0.001) and toothpaste (OR 0.1, CI 0.1-0.2; p < 0.001) than their rural counterparts. More rural (13.2%) than urban (4.6%) residents used charcoal.
The findings of this study demonstrated social demographic disparities in relation to oral health related behaviors, while dental pain was associated with low consumption of sugar and high likelihood to take alcohol.
PMCID: PMC2749019  PMID: 19751519
25.  Splash!: a prospective birth cohort study of the impact of environmental, social and family-level influences on child oral health and obesity related risk factors and outcomes 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:505.
Dental caries (decay) is the most prevalent disease of childhood. It is often left untreated and can impact negatively on general health, and physical, developmental, social and learning outcomes. Similar to other health issues, the greatest burden of dental caries is seen in those of low socio-economic position. In addition, a number of diet-related risk factors for dental caries are shared risk factors for the development of childhood obesity. These include high and frequent consumption of refined carbohydrates (predominately sugars), and soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, and low intake of (fluoridated) water. The prevalence of childhood obesity is also at a concerning level in most countries and there is an opportunity to determine interventions for addressing both of these largely preventable conditions through sustainable and equitable solutions. This study aims to prospectively examine the impact of drink choices on child obesity risk and oral health status.
This is a two-stage study using a mixed methods research approach. The first stage involves qualitative interviews of a sub-sample of recruited parents to develop an understanding of the processes involved in drink choice, and inform the development of the Discrete Choice Experiment analysis and the measurement instruments to be used in the second stage. The second stage involves the establishment of a prospective birth cohort of 500 children from disadvantaged communities in rural and regional Victoria, Australia (with and without water fluoridation). This longitudinal design allows measurement of changes in the child's diet over time, exposure to fluoride sources including water, dental caries progression, and the risk of childhood obesity.
This research will provide a unique contribution to integrated health, education and social policy and program directions, by providing clearer policy relevant evidence on strategies to counter social and environmental factors which predispose infants and children to poor health, wellbeing and social outcomes; and evidence-based strategies to promote health and prevent disease through the adoption of healthier lifestyles and diet. Further, given the absence of evidence on the processes and effectiveness of contemporary policy implementation, such as community water fluoridation in rural and regional communities it's approach and findings will be extremely informative.
PMCID: PMC3161888  PMID: 21708037

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