Objective: To assess the impact of media exposure on oral health outcomes among Jewish adults in Jerusalem, Israel, by means of a conceptual hierarchical model.
Method and Materials: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a stratified sample of 254 adults 35 to 44 years (mean age, 38.63 years) in Jerusalem, Israel. Media exposure was operationally categorized by type and frequency. Behavioral data included toothbrushing, dental attendance, oral hygiene aids use, plaque level, sugar consumption, and smoking. Clinical outcomes were assessed according to the decayed/missing/filled teeth (DMFT) index and the Community Periodontal Index (CPI). Results were analyzed by chi-square test, independent test, one-way ANOVA, and linear and multiple logistic regression models.
Results: A total of 254 examinees consisted of 127 men and 127 mean (married couples). High type and high frequency of media exposure, as compared with other modes, revealed statistically significant higher caries experience (DMFT, 13.10), higher level of untreated decay (D, 1.67), and lower periodontal health (CPI , 0.39). A conceptual hierarchical regression model identified that the relationship described was mediated by sociodemographic determinants (education) and behavioral determinants (dental attendance and plaque level).
Conclusion: Media exposure should be observed by community health program planners and general practitioners to examine the type and frequency of the messages. They also need to react on time to balanced bad advertising and add a good message at the community. This pragmatic approach could lead to better use of the media and improve oral health behavior and outcomes.
Keywords: media exposure, oral health, oral health behavior, sugar consumption