Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Misperception of Oral Health among Adults in Rural Areas: A Fundamental but Neglected Issue in Primary Healthcare

  • chen, mei-yen
Publication Date
Oct 07, 2018
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15102187
External links


Background: Poor oral hygiene is associated with metabolic syndrome, systemic diseases, mortality and many chronic diseases. Misperception means a wrong or incorrect understanding or interpretation. Few studies have examined the subjective perception and objective condition of oral health among community adults in rural areas. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, community-based study. Participants were recruited via convenience samples from December 2015 to July 2016. One thousand six (1006) community residents participated in the project, of which 973 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The average age was 42.8 (SD = 12.3) years, range 20&ndash / 64, selected from a collaboration local hospital. Results: Most of the participants reported brushing their teeth every day, however, 72% reported seldom brushing their teeth after meals, 54% seldom used dental floss, 64% seldom received dental scaling, 29.5% had experienced a toothache within 6 months, and 30.5% demonstrated significant tooth loss. However, most of them perceived their oral health as good. Misperception of oral health was common, 21.5% among whose number of remaining teeth &lt / 25 under-assess their actual oral health. The more number of remaining teeth (p &lt / 0.001) and regular dental check-up (p &lt / 0.01) were positively associated with feeling good about their oral health. After adjusting for potential confounders, clinically significant findings indicated that number of remaining teeth (OR = 3.03, p &lt / 0.001), age (OR = 0.99, p &lt / 0.001), regular dental check-ups/scaling (OR = 1.85, p &lt / 0.001), education (OR = 1.45, p &lt / 0.05), and water consumption (OR = 1.38, p &lt / 0.05) were independently associated with good perceived oral health. Conclusions: The findings showed that subjective self-perception of oral health was not matched with their objective oral condition. Excluding the unmodifiable factors, the clinical implications indicated that oral health promotion programs, particularly for adopting regular dental check-up, healthy diet and oral hygiene habits are urgent in rural areas.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times