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Periodontal health in an indigenous Sami population in Northern Norway: a cross-sectional study

Journal article
Authors A. K. S. Bongo
M. Brustad
N. Oscarson
Birgitta Jönsson
Published in Bmc Oral Health
Volume 20
Issue 1
ISSN 1472-6831
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Odontology, Section 2
Language en
Keywords Epidemiology, Alveolar bone loss, Periodontitis, Indigenous, Sami, Oral, health, swedish adult-population, oral-health, new-zealand, prevalence, severity, inequalities, disease, trends, risk, indicators, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Periodontology


Background The aim of the study was to describe prevalence, severity and distribution of periodontal disease as well as associated risk factors in an indigenous Sami population in Northern Norway, and to investigate differences between the indigenous Sami and the non-Sami population. Methods This cross-sectional study included data from the Dental Health in the North study (N = 2078; 18-75 years). Data on Ethnicity, household income, education, smoking habits, dental attendance, and tooth brushing habits were collected by a questionnaire. Periodontal conditions were assessed by clinical examination. A modified version of the new AAP/EFP classification system of periodontal disease was used to estimate the severity of periodontitis. Three stages were used: 'Non-severe periodontitis', 'Stage II', and stage 'III/IV'. Results Of the total study population 66.5% reported Sami affiliation. The total prevalence of periodontitis was 49.7%, with 20.1% in Stage III/IV, but no differences between Sami and non-Sami. When controlled for sex, age, education, smoking and dental attendance the Sami had higher probability of having more severe stages of periodontitis; Odds Ratio(Stage II) (OR) = 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1-1.7; and ORStage III/IV (OR) = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.1-2.2) compared to non-Sami. The Sami had higher prevalence of periodontal pocket depth (PD) >= 4 mm (t = 1.77; p < 0.001) and PD >= 6 mm (t = 1.08; p = 0.038) than the non-Sami. Conclusions The prevalence of periodontitis was high in communities in the core area of Sami settlement in Northern Norway, regardless of ethnicity. People with Sami ethnicity had more deep periodontal pockets and an increased odds of having severe stages of periodontitis. Future studies should address possible explaining factors behind the potential higher risk of having more severe periodontitis among indigenous people in Sami settlements.

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