Self-rated oral health and oral health-related factors: the role of social inequality

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



The reasons why social inequality is associated with oral health outcomes is poorly understood. This study investigated whether stratification by different measures of socio-economic status (SES) helped elucidate these associations.


Cross-sectional survey data were used from Australia's 2004–06 National Survey of Adult Oral Health. The outcome variable was poor self-rated oral health. Explanatory variables comprised five domains: demographic, economic, general health behaviour, oral health-related quality of life and perceived need for dental care. These explanatory variables were each stratified by three measures of SES: education, income and occupation.


The overall proportion of adults reporting fair or poor oral health was 17.0% (95% CI 16.1, 18.0). Of these, a higher proportion were older, Indigenous, non-Australian born, poorly educated, annual income <$20 000, unemployed, eligible for public dental care, smoked tobacco, avoided food in the last 12 months, experienced discomfort with their dental appearance, experienced toothache or reported a need for dental care. In stratified analyses, a greater number of differences persisted in the oral health impairment and perceived need for dental care domains.


Irrespective of the SES measure used, more associations between self-rated oral health and dental-specific factors were observed than associations between self-rated oral health and general factors.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles