Contextual and Individual Factors Influencing Periodontal Treatment Needs by Elderly Brazilians: A Multilevel Analysis.

Research paper by Chaiane Emilia CE Dalazen, Alessandro Diogo AD De Carli, Rafael Aiello RA Bomfim, Mara Lisiane Moraes ML Dos Santos

Indexed on: 02 Jun '16Published on: 02 Jun '16Published in: PloS one


To assess the relationship between periodontal treatment needs by elderly Brazilians and contextual as well as individual variables.A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the need for clinical periodontal treatment, based on National Oral Health Survey (SB Brasil 2010) data on the presence of dental calculus, shallow (3-5 mm) and deep (≥ 6 mm) periodontal pockets, and gingival bleeding in elderly people (n = 7,619). The contextual variables included the Municipal Human Development Index (MHDI), income inequality (Gini Index) and coverage of the municipal population by the Family Health Strategy (FHS) program oral health teams.<0} The individual variables were sex, income, education level and self-reported skin color. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI95%) between periodontal treatment needs and the contextual as well as individual variables.Gingival bleeding was found in 20.7% of the elderly analyzed (n = 1,577), dental calculus in 34% (n = 2,590), shallow periodontal pockets in 15.6% (n = 1,189), and deep periodontal pockets in 4.2% (n = 320). Individual factors were correlated with all the outcomes assessed. Sex was a protective factor in regard to gingival bleeding (OR = 0.87; CI95% 0.76-1.00), dental calculus (OR = 0.86; CI95% 0.75-0.99), shallow periodontal pockets (OR = 0.69; CI95% 0.60-0.80) and deep periodontal pockets (OR = 0.58; CI95% 0.45-0.74). It was found that fewer women needed treatment. Elderly people who self-reported having nonwhite skin had higher chances of needing periodontal treatment. Skin color was a risk factor for gingival bleeding (OR = 1.32; CI95% 1.14-1.53), dental calculus (OR = 1.32; CI95%1.14-1.54) and shallow periodontal pockets (OR = 1.27; CI95% 1.09-1.49). Education level was associated with the presence of dental calculus (OR = 0.77; CI95% 0.66-0.89), shallow periodontal pockets (OR = 0.86; CI95% 0.73-1.00) and deep periodontal pockets (OR = 0.74; CI95% 0.57-0.97), thus acting as a risk factor for undereducated elderly people. There was a correlation between population coverage by the Family Health Strategy (FHS) program oral health teams and the presence of gingival bleeding (OR = 0.67; CI95% 0.52-0.88), shallow periodontal pockets (OR = 0.76; CI95% 0.58-0.98) and deep periodontal pockets (OR = 0.62; CI95% 0.44-0.89), making these teams act as a protective factor.This study showed evidence of the sociocontextual as well as individual sociodemographic characteristics influencing periodontal treatment needed by elderly Brazilians, based on the clinical features of periodontal disease. The results suggest the existence of inequality related to periodontal treatment needs among elderly Brazilians, especially in regard to sex and ethnicity, in addition to a potentially positive impact from the expansion of the Family Health Strategy (FHS) program oral health teams.