Introduction The objective of this study was to assess the impact of oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) in adults and to investigate the relationship between OHRQoL indicator and specific clinical dental measures.
Methods Cross-sectional survey was carried out of 501 adults between 35 and 59 years, living in five different areas covered by the Community Health Agents Program/Family Health Strategy (CHAP/FHS) in Salvador—Bahia, Brazil. Data were collected from July to October, 2008, through interviews and clinical examination that's used indexes and criteria according Examiner's Manual SB Brazil project (2001). OHRQoL was assessed through the General Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI). Data analysis used non-parametric tests (Mann–Whitney, Kruskal–Wallis and multiple linear regressions).
Results 51.1% of adults had tooth loss (<20 functional teeth present), the GOHAI mean overall score was 29.4±4.7 and 50.7% reported low levels of OHRQoL Female perceived a greater impact of oral health status in quality of life (GOHAI=29.1±4.9). Concerns about oral health was the most frequently reported problem (64.9%) while concerns about appearance (53.7%) and oral impacts related to pain (53.1%) were experienced by just over than half of participants. Tooth loss remained associated with worse perceptions of OHRQoL (p<0.05) even after adjusted for age, gender, economic status, and loss of periodontal attachment.
Conclusions Poor oral health status increased the perceived impact of OHRQoL. Policies of reduction of oral health inequalities can be successful strategies to improve the quality of life of adults.
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