Knowledge of caries risk factors/indicators among Japanese and Irish adult patients with different socio-economic profiles: a cross-sectional study
Allen, P. Finbarr
Background: A previous study has shown deficient knowledge of caries risk factors/indicators in a Japanese adult population regarded to have a high interest in preventive dentistry. No prior research has investigated caries risk knowledge in an Irish adult population. We hypothesise there may be unexpected differences or similarities in knowledge across countries with similar levels of economic development when comparing groups with different socio-economic and cultural profiles. Understanding what influences knowledge is important for the development of effective and efficient caries prevention strategies. The current paper aims to describe the knowledge of caries risk factors/indicators in two groups with different socio-economic profiles from two culturally distinct countries. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys of adult dental patients were carried out in Japan and in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) using similar self-administered paper questionnaires. Patients were asked to identify caries risk factors/indicators from eight (Japan) or ten (RoI) listed items. The Japanese study involved 482 patients (aged ≥20 years) from 52 dental members of a nationwide web-based initiative Promoting Scientific Assessment in Prevention of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease (PSAP). The Irish study involved 159 patients (aged 20–69 years) accessing state-provided (‘medical card’) dental services from eight dental practices in County Cork. The two samples were compared. Results: A higher proportion of Irish respondents identified ‘Not visiting the dentist for check-up and cleaning’ (OR 2.655; 99% CI 1.550, 4.547) and ‘Not using fluoride’ (OR 1.714; 99% CI 1.049, 2.802) than did Japanese respondents. A lower proportion of Irish respondents identified ‘A reduced amount of saliva’ (OR 0.262; 99% CI 0.159, 0.433) than Japanese respondents. Similarly shown in both studies were a persistent belief that ‘Not brushing teeth properly’ is a caries risk factor and a lack of knowledge on saliva buffering capacity as a caries risk factor. Conclusions: Deficiencies in knowledge which should be addressed: among the Japanese group, of dental check-up/cleaning visits and of fluoride use for caries prevention; among the Irish group, of saliva quantity as a caries risk factor. In addition, in both groups, we need to inform patients of the defensive role of saliva.
Dental caries , Risk factors , Knowledge , Fluorides , Saliva , Cross-cultural comparison , Japan , Ireland , Socioeconomic factors , Social determinants of health
Nishi, M., Harding, M., Kelleher, V., Whelton, H. and Allen, F. (2017) ‘Knowledge of caries risk factors/indicators among Japanese and Irish adult patients with different socio-economic profiles: a cross-sectional study’, BMC Oral Health, 17(55), pp. 1-10. doi: 10.1186/s12903-017-0345-x
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