The Relationship between Periodontitis and Oral Health Literacy among the Older People in Thailand

  •  Panat Piyakhunakorn    
  •  Nithimar Sermsuti-anuwat    


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between periodontitis and oral health literacy among the older population in Thailand.

MATERIAL & METHODS: This cross-sectional study was performed between July 1 and September 30, 2020, in Panare district, Pattani province, Thailand. The inclusion criteria were older individuals more than 60 years of age who had at least six remaining teeth. Information on sociodemographic characteristics and oral health-related behaviors were collected using a self-reported questionnaire. Oral health literacy was categorized using the Thai version of the Health Literacy in Dentistry scale (HeLD‐Th). A trained examiner performed clinical periodontal examinations. The data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test, Fisher's exact test, and binary logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 216 independently living older adults participated and completed the study protocol. The initial analyses indicated significant associations between severe periodontitis and low oral health literacy (p = 0.029) and insufficient toothbrushing duration (p < 0.001). However, in multivariate analysis, only toothbrushing duration showed significant association (p = 0.003).

CONCLUSIONS: Oral health literacy interventions and oral hygiene practices for improving periodontal health status among the Thai older adults are necessary.

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