J Dent Hyg Sci.  2016 Jun;16(3):225-234. 10.17135/jdhs.2016.16.3.225.

Oral Health and Occupational Status among Korean Adults

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dental Hygiene, College of Dentistry and Research Institute of Oral Science, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung 25457, Korea. freshjung@gwnu.ac.kr

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the oral health condition and behavioral status of Korean adults according to occupational status. The subjects were 7,676 adults, aged between 19 and 64 years, who completed both oral examination and questionnaire survey, among those who indicated that they were currently participating in economic activities, according to the data from the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Occupational class and employment status were selected as measures of occupational status. Complex-samples logistic regression models were used to assess the associations among oral health, behavioral, and occupational statuses. We found a significant occupational class-related difference in the oral health and behavioral statuses of both the men and women. In particular, the prevalence odds ratios of untreated dental caries in manual workers were 1.19 and 1.67 times higher than in non-manual workers, for men and women, respectively. As for oral health condition and behavioral status according to employment status, the health risk in temporary employment workers was higher than that in permanent employment workers. As for the prevalence odds ratios of the risk of dental caries, the highest values were observed for tooth brushing fewer than 3 times per day, not undergoing oral examinations, and chewing difficulty complaints. The risk of dental caries for agricultural, forestry, and fishing workers for both men and women was found to be the highest among other workers. Thus, strategies to promote workplace oral health in the microscopic and macroscopic perspectives should be developed to constantly monitor oral health problems, and to identify vulnerable social groups within occupational groups and the related factors that mediate oral health differences.

Keyword

Employment; Health status disparities; Industry; Oral health
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