Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan1
BK21 PLUS Project, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan2
Periodontal Disease Signaling Network Research Center (MRC)3
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the number of existing permanent teeth and the denture usage status in elderly adults aged 65 years and above living in metropolitan cities and to confirm the degree of oral health inequality caused by the differences in oral conditions in each metropolitan city using the Lorenz curve and the Gini coefficient. Methods: The raw data for the analysis were obtained from the dataset of the sixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2013 and 2015. The subjects included 1,764 people who underwent oral examination and answered questions. The complex samples general linear model was used to analyze the number of existing permanent teeth adjusted for age and monthly household income. The proportion of edentulousness and the denture status was analyzed using complex samples crosstabs. Results: The number of existing permanent teeth in the elderly adults aged 65 years and above was lowest in Ulsan (15.41) and highest in Gwangju (20.44). The proportion of edentulousness was highest in Busan (14.5%) and lowest in Daejeon (4.0%). With regard to the proportion of denture users, Busan had the highest tendency for denture usage (50.4%) and Gwangju had the lowest tendency (34.9) (p=0.172). The Gini’s coefficient for the number of existing teeth was lowest in Busan (0.332). Oral health inequality was most severe in metropolitan cities. Conclusions: We found that oral health inequality exists among elderly adults living in the metropolitan cities of Korea using the Lorenz curve and Gini’s coefficient.
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