J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2013 Sep;37(3):154-160.

Trends in oral health inequality in 12-year-old Korean children: A study using the Gini coefficient

  • 1Research Institute for Dental Care Policy, Korean Dental Association, Seoul, Korea. yulsaram@naver.com


OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to analyze the current state and tendency of oral health inequality in 12-year-old Korean children by calculating the Gini coefficient from decayed, missing, or filled teeth (DMFT) data.
Ten-year trends were empirically estimated by calculating the Gini coefficient from the Lorenz curve plotted based on the DMFT data of 12-year-old children, obtained from the Korean National Oral Health Survey from 2000 to 2010.
While the oral health improved in general, oral health inequalities increased with the decrease in the number of DMFT each year, and the DMFT-based Gini coefficient increased from 0.53 in 2000 to 0.61 in 2010. The increase in the number of decayed and missing teeth was strongly affected by the increase in oral health inequality.
To resolve Korea's continually increasing oral health inequality, it is necessary to establish support measures for vulnerable populations and to develop and manage a surveillance system for continuous monitoring of oral health inequality in the future.


DMFT; Gini coefficient; Lorenz curve; Oral health inequality
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