Purpose: To evaluate the impact of oral health behaviours and oral habits on the number of remaining teeth in older Taiwanese dentate adults.
Subjects and Methods: Subjects comprised dentate patients (mean age, 60.0 ± 9.9 years) in Taiwan. Information on demographic data, oral health behaviours, oral habits and self-perceived health status was collected via self-administered questionnaires and dentition status was assessed by oral examination. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine variables correlated with the low dentition group (subjects with less than 20 natural teeth or 8 functional tooth units).
Results: The analysis showed that the low dentition group was more likely to be older and to exhibit low educational levels, less frequent use of dental floss, more common smoking habits, poor self-perceived dental health and to be exbetel- nut chewers. In addition, the low dentition group was less likely to be current betel-nut chewers.
Conclusions: These results underscore the importance of the use of dental floss and confirm the adverse effects of smoking on dental health. Hence, the dental profession should continue to encourage proper oral health behaviours and oral habits.
Keywords: functional tooth units, natural tooth, oral habit, oral health behaviour, tooth retention