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Association between clinical oral health status and perceived oral health in different age groups
, Mohammad Khursheed Alam,

Objective: The perceived oral health refers to the very own perception of a person's oral health (OH). This study aims to explore the association of perceived oral health status (PSR-OHS) with clinically determined OHS in three age groups: young adults, adults and older adults. This study also aims to identify demographic, socio-economic and/or clinical factors that influence PSR-OHS.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in ten different dental hospitals of Pakistan. The one-way ANOVA test was used to analyze patient's demographic distribution with PSR-OHS and oral functions. The complex sample general linear model was used to determine association between clinical OH and PSR-OHS. Analyses of each age group were conducted separately.

Results: A total of 1,804 outdoor patients participated in the study, out of which 660 were young adults, 685 adults and 459 were older adults. Overall self-perception of all age groups about their oral health was 'good' (mean = 3.71). Female gender and education status were a significant factor in young adults and adults. Family income affected PSR-OHS of only the adult age group. Frequent visit to dental clinic and preventive reason of dental attendance were associated with good PSR-OHS. DMFT score, prosthesis score and periodontal score also affected the PSR-OHS of individuals. Association between PSR-OHS and clinical examination was confirmed by complex general linear model.

Conclusion: There are differences in the perceived oral health status of young adults, adults and older adults. The variables, age, education, family income, DMFT score, prosthesis score and periodontal score directly influence the self-perception of individuals.

Epidemiology; Global health; Oral cavity; Self-assessment.
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