Inequalities in self-rated oral health in adults

Carla Antoni Luchi Karen Glazer Peres João Luiz Bastos Marco Aurélio Peres About the authors


To investigate the link between self-rated oral health and socio-demographic inequalities.


Cross-sectional study, carried out with 2,016 adults between 20 and 59 years of age in 2009, in Florianopolis, SC, Southern Brazil. We adopted a two-stage sampling design (census tracts and households). Data were collected through face-to-face interviews, conducted in the participants’ households. The outcome was self-rated oral health. The exploratory variables were demographic characteristics, indicators of socioeconomic position, dental service utilization and adverse self-reported oral health conditions. Analysis was performed using multivariable poisson regression, which allowed the estimation of prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals.


The prevalence of negative self-rated oral health was 33.2% (95%CI 29.8;36.6). In the adjusted analysis, being of an older age, self-classifying as light-skinned black, lower education, the most recent dental appointment being three years or more ago, attending public dental surgeries, having less than 10 natural teeth in at least one arch, self-reporting need for dental treatment, reporting dry mouth, and difficulty eating due to tooth problems were associated with negative self-rated oral health.


Self-rated oral health reflects social inequalities in health, and it is associated with low socioeconomic status, less frequent use of dental services and poorer self-reported oral health conditions.

Adult; Diagnostic Self Evaluation; Oral Health; Health Inequalities; Dental Health Surveys; Cross-Sectional Studies

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