Purpose: To examine the relationship between oral health literacy and oral health by adapting a valid oral health literacy
Materials and Methods: A random sample of 715 students from 9 institutes was included in the study. Oral health
literacy (OHL) was assessed by making the students pronounce a list of 40 words from REALD-99. Oral health status
(OHL) was assessed using a modified WHO (1997) proforma. A stepwise logistic regression analysis was performed to
assess the impact of independent factors on oral health literacy.
Results: The response rate was 97.9%; 15 students refused to participate, leaving 700 participants in the final sample.
The mean age of the participants was 20.35 ± 1.66 years. A statistically significant difference was observed in
OHL according to the clinical parameters. Caries prevalence was higher among subjects with low OHL with a mean
DMFT score of 2.69 ± 1.53, compared with high-OHL students having a mean DMFT of 0.22 ± 0.4. Similarly, oral hygiene
status was poor among subjects with low OHL (1.53 ± 0.6). Community periodontal index (CPI) scores were
lower (1.06 ± 0.8) in subjects with high OHL than in those with low literacy (CPI: 1.6 ± 0.6).
Conclusion: The present study revealed a negative correlation between oral health literacy and clinical parameters
measured, that is, higher oral health literacy was associated with better oral health.