Contextual and Individual Determinants of Root Caries in Older People

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The aim of this study was to identify the association of the presence of root caries in older people with contextual and individual determinants using a multilevel model. Data from the National Survey of Oral Health collected in Brazil were used. A sample of older Brazilians (aged 65-74 years) was included and selected through multistage probability cluster sampling, using probability proportional to size. Contextual variables of municipalities and individual variables of older people were included. Descriptive, bivariate, and multilevel analyses were conducted. Of the 3,926 older people included in the study, 934 (21.8%) had at least 1 tooth with root caries. There seemed to be no pattern of involvement between the anterior and posterior teeth in the dental arches. Multilevel analysis showed a higher presence of root caries among older people resident in municipalities that were noncapital cities (OR = 1.50), who were over 70 years of age (odds ratio, OR = 1.22), had nonwhite skin color (OR 1.35), had coronal caries (OR = 5.58), were dissatisfied with their teeth and mouth (OR = 1.47), and had self-perceived dental treatment needs (OR = 1.33). Contextual and individual determinants were associated with the occurrence of root caries in older people. Lesion presence demonstrated a profile of social inequality.

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