• Periodontitis;
  • oral hygiene;
  • chewing sticks;
  • Ethiopia

Objectives: To investigate periodontal status and oral hygiene practices among recent new immigrants from Quara, Ethiopia, with the aim to maintain and promote their periodontal health. Methods: Periodontal status was recorded for a total of 487 participants using the Community Periodontal Index (CPI). Age was grouped into 13–17, 18–24, 25–34, 35–44, and 45–65 years, and its association with ‘worst CPI’ was tested. Information on oral hygiene behaviour was collected by interview. Results: The percentage of subjects with calculus is most common in all age groups. Low levels of periodontal pockets in the presence of calculus and very low levels of deep pockets were detected. Differences in CPI scores among the various age groups were statistically significant (p<0.0001). Oral hygiene practice is rare among children in Ethiopia, but a considerable proportion (53%) immediately adopted the local common custom and started brushing their teeth in Israel. Among the adults, oral hygiene practice with chewing sticks was common. Conclusions: Periodontal health promotion of this population should be targeted towards the entire population by enhancement of self-care oral hygiene measures. Periodontal treatment of this population, especially scaling and root planing remains controversial. The presence of inferior oral hygiene and high levels of calculus, together with low levels of periodontal pathology, raises important thoughts regarding the natural history of periodontal disease development.