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1.  Socio-demographic disparity in oral health among the poor: a cross sectional study of early adolescents in Kilwa district, Tanzania 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:7.
Background
There is a lack of studies considering social disparity in oral health emanating from adolescents in low-income countries. This study aimed to assess socio-demographic disparities in clinical- and self reported oral health status and a number of oral health behaviors. The extent to which oral health related behaviors might account for socio-demographic disparities in oral health status was also examined.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kilwa district in 2008. One thousand seven hundred and forty five schoolchildren completed an interview and a full mouth clinical examination. Caries experience was recorded using WHO criteria, whilst type of treatment need was categorized using the ART approach.
Results
The majority of students were caries free (79.8%) and presented with a low need for dental treatment (89.3%). Compared to their counterparts in opposite groups, rural residents and those from less poor households presented more frequently with caries experience (DMT>0), high need for dental treatment and poor oral hygiene behavior, but were less likely to report poor oral health status. Stepwise logistic regressions revealed that social and behavioral variables varied systematically with caries experience, high need for dental treatment and poor self reported oral health. Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes persisted after adjusting for oral health behaviors.
Conclusions
Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes and oral health behaviors do exist. Socio-demographic disparities in oral health outcomes were marginally accounted for by oral health behaviors. Developing policies and programs targeting both social and individual determinants of oral health should be an urgent public health strategy in Tanzania.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-10-7
PMCID: PMC2868779  PMID: 20406452
2.  Oral health related behaviors among adult Tanzanians: a national pathfinder survey 
BMC Oral Health  2009;9:22.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-9-22
PMCID: PMC2749019  PMID: 19751519
3.  Clinical and socio-behavioral correlates of tooth loss: a study of older adults in Tanzania 
BMC Oral Health  2006;6:5.
Background
Focusing 50 year olds and above, this study assessed the frequency, extent and correlates of tooth loss due to various reasons. Frequency and correlates of posterior occluding support was also investigated.
Method
A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in Pwani region and in Dar es Salaam in 2004/2005. One thousand and thirty-one subjects, mean age 62.9 years participated in a clinical examination and completed interviews.
Results
The prevalence of tooth loss due to any reason was 83.5 %, due to caries 63.4% and due to other reasons than caries, 32.5%. A total of 74.9% had reduced number of posterior occluding units. Compared to subjects having less than 5 teeth lost due to caries, those with 5 or more lost teeth were more likely to be females, having decayed teeth, confirming dental attendance and to be among the least poor residents. Compared to subjects who had lost less than 5 teeth due to reasons other than caries, those who had lost 5 or more teeth were more likely to be of higher age, having mobile teeth, being males, being very poor and to disconfirm dental attendance when having problems. Predictors of prevalence of tooth loss (1 or more lost tooth) due to various reasons and reduced number of occluding units followed similar patterns of relationships.
Conclusion
The results are consistent with prevalence and extent of tooth loss due to caries and due to reasons other than caries being differently related to disease- and socio- behavioral risk indicators. Caries was the principle cause of tooth loss and molar teeth were the teeth most commonly lost.
doi:10.1186/1472-6831-6-5
PMCID: PMC1471779  PMID: 16536880

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