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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 127-132

Influence of oral health literacy on the oral health status of school teachers in Mangalore, India


Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ashwini Rao
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Light House Hill Road, Mangalore - 575 001, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_40_18

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Background: The problem of low oral health literacy (OHL) is often neglected which may lead to poor oral health outcomes and underutilization of oral care services. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the influence of OHL on the oral health status of school teachers in Mangalore, Karnataka. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 260 school teachers presently working in schools at Mangalore was undertaken. Details regarding demographics, medical, and dental history, oral hygiene practices and habits, diet history, and decay promoting the potential of school teachers were obtained using face-to-face interview method. The Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry-99 (REALD-99) was used to assess their OHL. An oral examination was conducted following the administration of the questionnaire at the school campus using the WHO Oral Health Assessment Form-1997. Results: The mean age of the study population was 39 ± 10.42 years. The OHL was high in the school teachers with the REALD-99 scores ranging from 45 to 95 with a mean score of 75.83 ± 9.94. There was a positive correlation between the OHL and filled teeth (FT) (r = 0.195, n = 260, P = 0.002). This study found that there was a statistically significant difference between OHL and education (F [3,256] = 9.62, P < 0.001), frequency of brushing (t[258] = −2.253, P = 0.025), and the FT (t[258] = −3.200, P = 0.002). Conclusions: Although this study indicated high OHL levels among school teachers in Mangalore, Karnataka, the magnitude of dental caries in this population was also relatively high and very few had a healthy periodontium.


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