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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 207-212

Assessing self-reported oral health status of three Andean indigenous communities in Ecuador

1 Department of Public Health, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Fl, USA
2 Escuela de Salud Publica, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador
3 Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ, USA

Correspondence Address:
Denice C Curtis
University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Building 38, Room 133, FL 32514
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_164_17

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Aims: The aim of this study was to assess how individuals in three rural communities in Ecuador self-rate their oral health status. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study that utilized a survey to assess the community awareness of risk factors for oral health. Because fluorosis is an issue that affects these communities, local water systems were tested for excess fluoride. Results: One hundred and eighty-five individuals aged 18 years and older participated in the study. Two-thirds of the participants described the state of their teeth as average or poor and more than half stated that they had sought dental care due to pain and need for treatment during the past year. Age and education had a statistically significant effect on how people described the state of their teeth. Significant associations were found between number of years of education and age and number of natural teeth the participants had (rs = 0.43, n = 177, P ≤ 0.001; rs= −0.53, n = 178, P ≤ 0.001). Likewise, significant associations were found between number of years of education and age and how participants described the state of their teeth (rs= −0.228, n = 177, P ≤ 0.001; −0.617, n = 177; P < 0.001). A very high-fluoride level (4.86 mg/L) was found in one of the communities. Conclusions: Social and physical determinants of health seem to have a significant impact on the oral health of rural communities in Ecuador. Lack of regular access to dental care and low levels of education are important barriers for oral health in these communities.

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