Self-perceived oral health and its determinants among adult dental patients in a University Dental ‎Clinic in Tehran, Iran‎

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

1 Associate Professor, Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of ‎Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran‎

2 Postgraduate Student, Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical ‎Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Postgraduate Student, Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, Ahvaz Jondishapur University of ‎Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor,‎‏ ‏Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Islamic Azad ‎University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Self-perceived oral health is a simple, non-invasive, and inexpensive method of data collection, which considers the psychosocial aspects of oral health and is related to the likelihood of seeking oral health care. Our study aimed to assess the association between self-perceived and clinically determined findings of oral health in a context of socio-economic status (SES) and perceived general health among adult dental patients in a university dental clinic. METHODS: Through a cross-sectional study, we collected the data from 499, 20-50 years olds attending dental clinic of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, using valid questionnaire-led interviews about patients’ demographic characteristics; their perceived general health, and oral health. In addition, clinical oral examination was performed to assess decayed missing filled teeth (DMFT) index and prosthesis status of the participants. Spearman correlation, ANOVA and a linear regression model served for statistical analysis. RESULTS: The mean age of the participants was 34.8 years [SD (Standard deviation) = 9.91] and more than half of them were women (51.9%). While as high as 73.0% of the patients perceived their general health as excellent or good, only 31.0% reported the same with their oral health. Self-perceived oral health was positively associated with self-perceived general health. The younger participants, patients with a higher number of missing and decayed teeth, and those participants wearing more complicated prosthesis in the upper jaw reported worse oral health status (P < 0.050). CONCLUSION: Oral conditions have significant effects on function and well-being. The present association between clinically determined and self-perceived oral health admitted that it might be beneficial to monitor oral health using such inexpensive and non-invasive method.

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