American Journal of Public Health Research. 2014, 2(6), 221-225DOI:
Abstract: Background: Loss of teeth is mainly attributed to dental caries and periodontal diseases. Factors relating to tooth extractions are not, however, always dental in origin. Edentulousness and small number of remaining teeth are associated with low educational level, low family income and rural domicile. Aim: To evaluate the risk factors for tooth loss and to establish base line data about missing teeth, among patients attending OPD of Govt. Dental College and, Hospital, RIMS, Kadapa. Materials and methods: A sample of 150 patients, age group of 18 years and above with non- disease as factors for tooth loss, are considered. The subjects were interviewed with a structured questionnaire regarding age, sex, marital status, demographics, socioeconomic status, smoking habits, dental visiting patterns, and oral hygiene practices, and then clinically examined by a single examiner for number of missing teeth. Univariant analysis is carried out and those variables which show statistical significance Association between loss of teeth and selected variables are studied using Chi square test. Results: Of the 150 patients, 55 (36.7%) were males and 95 (63.4%) were females and mean age was 35.5 years with an average of 10.7% of teeth missing per person. Subjects with no schooling had more than 2 missing teeth, current smokeless tobacco users and non regular dental visiting pattern had more than 2 missing teeth. Smoking had no association with the missing teeth. Women than men, Education and the family income were also significantly associated with the number of missing teeth. Conclusion: Though most of the individual risk factors do lead to periodontal disease and loss of teeth, the present study has a drawback where smoking and tooth loss did not show any association. On the basis of the evidence presented it would seem that the loss of one’s natural teeth is a complex social and environmental phenomenon and is not merely a result of dental disease. This study demonstrates that modifications in the non-disease factors (education, income, smoking) could reduce the number of missing teeth and improve oral health status and function.