J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2012 Jun;36(2):144-152.

Socio-economic inequalities in dental caries in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Research Institute of Oral Science, Gangneung, Korea. feeljsh@gwnu.ac.kr

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the socio-economic inequalities in dental caries in the Korean population, throughout the life course and to assess the association of demographic, oral health behavior and psychological factors on the socio-economic differences in dental caries.
METHODS
Cross-sectional data were from the Forth Korea National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey. Subjects were 20,400 people over the age of 1 year, who participated in the health interview, dental examination and dietary survey, and were divided into five groups, according to their life course; infant (1-5 years), children (6-11 years), adolescent (12-18 years), adults (19-64 years), and the elderly (65 years and older). To assess the socio-economic inequalities in dental caries and related factors, we used complex samples logistic regression models.
RESULTS
We found that there were socio-economic differences in dental caries among children, adolescents and adults. After adjusting for related factors, the socio-economic inequalities in dental caries persisted. While there were no significant difference in dental caries of infants, according to the household income, there were significant socio-economic difference in the elderly. But after adjusting for all related factors, statistically significant differences disappeared. Oral hygiene factors, diet factors and dental care utilization factors partly affected the socio-economic inequalities in dental caries, and the dental care utilization factors were more effective than the others.
CONCLUSIONS
There were socio-economic differences in the dental caries in Korean children, adolescents and adults. But it is hard to assess the pathway of the socio-economic inequalities in dental caries because of the limitation of cross sectional study and other possible variables that could not be used as a measurement for socio-economic position because of the restricted variables in this survey data. Therefore, more extensive longitudinal research is required to better address the pathways that explain the socio-economic inequalities in dental caries throughout the life course in Korea.

Keyword

Dental caries; Korea National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey; Life course; Oral health inequality
Full Text Links
  • JKAOH
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Copyright © 2020 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr