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Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2012 Dec;40(6):481-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2012.00697.x. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Association between education level and dentition status in Japanese adults: Japan public health center-based oral health study.

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1
Department of Oral Health Promotion, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan. ueno.ohp@tmd.ac.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this study was to examine whether there is an educational gradient in dentition status among Japanese adults who are under the universal public health insurance system.

METHODS:

Subjects were 1201 community residents aged 55-75 years as of May 2005 who completed a self-administered questionnaire and had a standard clinical oral examination. Analysis focused on the association of three education levels (junior high school, senior high school, and any college or higher education) with dentition status.

RESULTS:

The proportion of subjects with 20 or more teeth (P < 0.001), number of teeth present (P = 0.037), number of filled teeth (P = 0.016), and two types of functional tooth units (FTUs): FTUs with natural teeth (n-FTUs) (P < 0.001) and FTUs with natural teeth and artificial teeth on implant-supported and fixed prostheses (nif-FTUs) (P < 0.001) were significantly associated with education level after adjusting for confounders. The significant trend of these values in dental indexes indicated a poorer dentition status with a lower education level.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that the level of education has an independent impact on dentition status in a group of Japanese adults, even after taking into account oral health-related factors. Therefore, providing appropriate oral health information from an early age within a compulsory school education program appears necessary to enhance health literacy and lessen the inequalities in dental health by educational level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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