Oral health among white, black, and Mexican-American elders: An examination of edentulism and dental caries

Bei Wu, Jersey Liang, Brenda L. Plassman, R. Corey Remle, Lina Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: To examine racial/ethnic disparities in oral health among older Americans. Methods: Differences in frequency of edentulism and number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth were assessed in 2,679 non-Hispanic white, 742 non-Hispanic black, and 934 Mexican-American individuals aged 60 and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2004). Results: Controlling for potential confounding variables, blacks and Mexican-Americans had significantly higher numbers of decayed teeth but fewer numbers of filled teeth than whites. Although blacks had a lower likelihood of being edentulous than whites, dentate blacks had a higher number of missing teeth. Compared with whites, Mexican-Americans were less likely to be edentulous, and dentate Mexican-Americans had fewer missing teeth. Our study also showed that blacks and Mexican-Americans had less frequent dental checkups than whites. Conclusions: Oral health disparities are persistent across racial/ethnic groups for older Americans despite the fact that the differences between groups typically diminish when socioeconomic, health-related, and behavioral factors are considered in the models. Our study suggests that reducing racial/ethnic oral health disparities requires multiple clinical approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-317
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Fingerprint

Oral Health
Dental Caries
Tooth
DMF Index
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
Nutrition Surveys
Ethnic Groups
hydroquinone
Health

Keywords

  • Blacks
  • Mexican-Americans
  • Older adults
  • Oral health disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Oral health among white, black, and Mexican-American elders : An examination of edentulism and dental caries. / Wu, Bei; Liang, Jersey; Plassman, Brenda L.; Remle, R. Corey; Bai, Lina.

In: Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Vol. 71, No. 4, 09.2011, p. 308-317.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wu, Bei ; Liang, Jersey ; Plassman, Brenda L. ; Remle, R. Corey ; Bai, Lina. / Oral health among white, black, and Mexican-American elders : An examination of edentulism and dental caries. In: Journal of Public Health Dentistry. 2011 ; Vol. 71, No. 4. pp. 308-317.
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