Is there socioeconomic inequality in periodontal disease among adults with optimal behaviours

Faisal F. Hakeem, Wael Sabbah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine if socioeconomic inequalities exist in periodontal disease among adult with optimal oral health behaviours. Materials and methods: Data were from the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009, a national survey of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Overall, 4738 participants aged 35 years and older were included in the analysis. Periodontal disease indicated by pocket depth or loss of attachment ≥4 mm, and gingival bleeding were used as periodontal outcomes. Education and deprivation indicated socioeconomic position. Behavioural factors were dental visits, toothbrushing and smoking. The subset of adults with and without optimal health related behaviours included 2916 and 1822 participants, respectively. The associations between periodontal disease and socioeconomic position were tested adjusting for demographic and behavioural factors. Additional models stratifying the sample to those with and without optimal behaviour subgroup were constructed. Results: Education and deprivation were significantly associated with periodontal disease in the partially adjusted models. In the analysis of those with optimal behaviours, only deprivation and highest level of education showed significant association with periodontitis (PD), but not with gingival bleeding. Among those without optimal behaviours, all socioeconomic factors were associated with all outcomes except deprivation and PD. Conclusions: Oral health behaviours marginally contributed to inequalities in gingival bleeding and periodontal disease. Socioeconomic inequalities were attenuated among those with optimal behaviours and persisted among those without optimal behaviours. Behaviours appeared to be an effect modifier for the relationship between periodontal outcomes and socioeconomic factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-407
Number of pages8
JournalActa Odontologica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Early online date28 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019


  • Health behaviour
  • periodontal diseases
  • socioeconomic factors


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