Meggan M. H. Wehmeyer is with the Department of Periodontics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry. Caleb L. Corwin and Janet M. Guthmiller are with the Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jessica Y. Lee is with the Departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Health Policy and Management, School of Dentistry and School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The impact of oral health literacy on periodontal health status
Version of Record online: 2 NOV 2012
© 2012 American Association of Public Health Dentistry
Journal of Public Health Dentistry
Volume 74, Issue 1, pages 80–87, Winter 2014
How to Cite
Wehmeyer, M. M. H., Corwin, C. L., Guthmiller, J. M. and Lee, J. Y. (2014), The impact of oral health literacy on periodontal health status. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 74: 80–87. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2012.00375.x
- Issue online: 3 MAR 2014
- Version of Record online: 2 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 20 OCT 2011
- oral health;
- health literacy;
- periodontal disease
The objective of this study was to describe oral health literacy (OHL) among periodontal patients and to examine its association with periodontal health status.
This cross-sectional study included new and referred patients presenting to the University of North Carolina Graduate Periodontology Clinic. Sociodemographic and dental history information were collected. OHL was measured using a dental word recognition instrument, Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy-30 (REALD-30). Clinical periodontal examinations were completed.
One hundred and twenty-eight participants enrolled and 121 completed all study examinations and instruments. Despite a high level of education among participants in our study, low levels of OHL were found in one-third (33 percent) of the study population. Thirty-one percent had moderate OHL (score of 22-25), 37 percent had high OHL (score ≥ 26). The mean REALD-30 score was 23. Fifty-three percent of participants had severe periodontitis, 29 percent had moderate periodontitis, and 18 percent had mild or no periodontitis. Bivariate analysis showed a significant association between OHL and periodontal status (P < 0.05). The effect of OHL on periodontal health status remained statistically significant (P < 0.002) even after controlling for smoking, race, and dental insurance.
Lower OHL was associated with more severe periodontal disease among new and referred patients presenting to the University of North Carolina Graduate Periodontology Clinics.