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Oral health, sense of coherence and dental anxiety among middle-aged women.

Journal article
Authors Anette Wennström
Ulla Wide Boman
Ulrika Stenman
Margareta Ahlqwist
Magnus Hakeberg
Published in Acta odontologica Scandinavica
Volume 71
Issue 1
Pages 256-62
ISSN 1502-3850
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Odontology, Section 1
Pages 256-62
Language en
Keywords dental anxiety, epidemiological survey, oral health, sense of coherence, women
Subject categories Other Medical Sciences


Abstract Aims. The specific aims of this investigation were to analyze the relationship between sense of coherence (SOC), dental anxiety (DA) and oral health status among middle-aged women, measured both subjectively and objectively and adjusted for socioeconomic status (SES). Materials and methods. Randomly selected women, 38 (n = 206) and 50 (n = 287) years of age, were included in a cross-sectional health examination. The participants underwent a series of examination stages, including a clinical and dental radiographic examination. The women responded to questionnaires concerning SES, oral health, DA and SOC. Results. The number of teeth was significantly related to SOC, where more missing teeth revealed a lower SOC level among 50-year-olds. The variables of caries, apical periodontitis and filled surfaces were not statistically significantly associated with SOC. However, the self-reported measure of oral health was associated with SOC in both age groups. High DA was significantly related to self-perceived poor oral health regardless of age. Individuals with high DA also had fewer teeth, more filled surfaces and more approximal caries. The multivariate models showed that higher SOC levels were associated with better oral health, as estimated by objective or subjective measures, while the inverse results were seen for DA. Thus, individuals reporting high DA were more likely to have fewer teeth and poor perceived oral health, taking SES into account. Conclusions. Sense of coherence and dental anxiety are psychological aspects with respect to health- and risk-factors of oral health.

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