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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-57

Determinants of self-rated oral health among undergraduate students in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria


1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2 Dental Center, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
3 Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Babatope Bamidele Osagbemiro
Dental Center, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_14_18

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Background: Self-rated oral health is a useful and essential indicator of overall oral health status which has an impact on general well-being and quality of life. No study on the perception of oral health has been conducted among young adults in Port Harcourt. Thus, this study investigated whether sociodemographic factors and oral health practices were associated with self-reported oral health status in a young population in Port Harcourt. Methods: A cross-sectional survey conducted among young undergraduate students in the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Data were collected using pre-tested self-administered questionnaires and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 21.0. Results: There were 120 respondents, all within 16–34 years old, with the mean age of 21.7 ± 3.8 years. More females 61 (50.8%) than males 59 (49.2%). A total of 5 (4.2%) are married and 66 (55%) were in health sciences. Out of 42 (35.0%) of the respondents that had utilised dental service in the past; complaints of a toothache accounted for 52.4%. The percentages of participants that rated their oral health as excellent, good, fair and poor were 20.8%, 58.4%, 16.7% and 4.2%, respectively. Sociodemographics factors, such as age, gender, course of study, level of study and monthly allowance were significantly associated with self-rated oral health (P < 0.05). Oral health practices for example, previous dental visit, type of toothbrush used and frequency of tooth brushing were also significantly associated with perceived oral health. Conclusions: The perceived high oral health status of participants was influenced by sociodemographic factors and oral health practices. However, there is poor utilisation of dental services among the students.


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