Objective: To determine the factors associated with the prevalence of dental caries and decayed, missing, and filled teeth index (DMFT) in adolescents and young adults using logistic and negative binomial regression.
Methods: A cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted on a sample of 638 subjects 16-25 years of age in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Binary logistic regression was used to generate a model of the prevalence of caries and negative binomial regression was used to model the caries experience (DMFT index). Clinical examination was carried out by dentists trained in the criteria of caries (WHO). The independent variables were collected using questionnaires. Analyses were performed in Stata.
Results: In multivariate models, it was observed that lower maternal education (OR = 1.95), dental health services utilization (DHSU) (OR = 2.25) and reporting "good" oral health (OR = 0.34) were associated (p <0.05) with the prevalence of caries (DMFT> 0). For those who experience caries (DMFT), female gender, lower maternal education and DHSU increased the expected mean of DMFT by 26%, 22.4% and 36.7%, respectively. In addition, self-reported "regular" and "good" oral health declined 30.0% and 47.0%, the expected average DMFT.
Conclusions: The variables associated with the prevalence of caries (DMFT> 0) and the DMFT were the same in the models used, except for sex. The mother's schooling proved the existence of certain socioeconomic inequalities in oral health.
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