March 2011

Volume 28, Issue 1

Non-biological factors associated with tooth retention in Irish adults

Authors: H. Guiney N. Woods H. Whelton D. O’ Mullane
doi: 10.1922/CDH_2523Guiney07


Objectives: To identify non-biological factors associated with retention of natural teeth and sound untreated natural teeth among adults in Ireland. Design Data were collected in the 2000/’02 epidemiological survey of the oral health of Irish adults. Clinical setting Participants underwent a clinical oral examination in health board dental clinics and a detailed interview pertaining to oral and general health. Participants The analysis is based on a random sample of adults aged 16-24 years (n=1,196), 35-44 years (n=978), and 65 years and older (n=714). Main outcome measures Dependent variables were number of natural teeth present (NT), number of sound untreated natural teeth (SUNT), likelihood of being dentate, having 21 or more NT (21+NT), 28 or more NT (28+NT), and 18 or more SUNT (18+SUNT). Socioeconomic status (SES) was based on being disadvantaged, occupation status and educational attainment. Behavioural factors included smoking, snacking, brushing frequency and dental visiting patterns. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed. Results Tooth retention decreased with increasing age group. Level of education, disadvantage status, being in employment, frequent brushing and visiting the dentist for a check-up (instead of when in need or pain) were associated with tooth retention. Attending for a check-up moderated the impact of disadvantage on tooth retention among 35-44 year-olds. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that several non-biological determinants are important for dental health in this adult population. Key words: Brushing, dental attendance, frequent snacking, non-biological, smoking, socioeconomic status, sound untreated natural teeth, tooth retention, water fluoridation

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