Gender differences in oral health of seniors
MetadataShow full item record
Objectives: To describe the oral health of Rhode Island Seniors and to evaluate gender differences in oral health. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of individuals who underwent oral screening at the HeathLink Wellness Health Fair, RI, in June, 2008. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire on self-reported general and oral health, and a dental examination for those who attended the HealthLink Wellness Progran’s health fair. Data was coded and entered into Epi-Info version 3.4.1, then analyzed using SAS version 9.1. The clinical oral health outcome variables studied were: number of teeth, edentulousness, root tips, untreated caries, dentures, and DMFT. The self-perceived oral health outcome variables were: difficulty relaxing, avoided going out or feeling nervous or self-conscious, felt pain or distress due to teeth, gums or denture, and overall poor self-perceived oral health. The main predictor variable was gender. Other predictor variables included age, self-reported chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and dry mouth), smoking history and current smoking status, self-perceived oral health, number of teeth, dentures, and DMFT. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and multivariate logistic and linear regression analyses were performed. Results: The study sample consisted of 166 subjects with a mean age of 72.3[plus or minus]7.8 years (range=42-89 years). Descriptive analyses of the study sample’s oral health showed that the subjects had overall good oral health, with 47% having good oral hygiene, 19% had untreated caries, 8% had root tips, 46% had at least one denture (upper or lower, complete or partial), and 12% were completely edentulous. On average, study subjects retained at least half of their natural dentition (mean=16.8[plus or minus]0.8 teeth). The mean DMFT score was 18.5[plus or minus]0.5 teeth. The mean number of teeth with untreated caries was 0.4[plus or minus]0.1 teeth. Multiple logistic regression models and linear regression models were performed after controlling for potential confounders and statistically significant associations were found between the main predictor, gender; and the outcome variables, self-perceived oral health, and clinical oral health. Females were 3.3 times more likely to feel difficulty relaxing due to their teeth, gums or denture (95% CI=1.5-7.6, p=0.002), were 10 times more likely to avoid going out or felt nervous or self-conscious due to their teeth, gums or denture (95%CI=2.1- 48.2, p=0.004), were 5.9 times more likely to have felt pain or distress due to their teeth, gums or denture (95% CI=1.8-19.8, p=0.005), and were 3.2 times more likely to avoid eating some foods due to their teeth gums or denture (95% CI=1.0-10.1, p=0.03). When a new variable was constructed, that reflected an overall score for self-perceived oral health, a multiple linear regression model showed that females had overall poorer self-perceived oral health (p=[less than]0.0001) than males. When clinical oral health outcome variables and gender was analyzed, females were less likely to have decayed teeth (p=0.005), had lower DMFT (p=0.02), and had a greater number of teeth (p=0.03) than males. Conclusion: In this study sample, there is an association between clinical oral health and self-perceived oral health and gender compared to the national data. Also, despite the fact that males had poorer clinical oral health than females, females reported poorer self-perceived oral health than males.
Thesis (MSD) -- Boston University, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, 2010 (Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research).Includes bibliographic references: leaves 73-75.
RightsThis work is being made available in OpenBU by permission of its author, and is available for research purposes only. All rights are reserved to the author.