Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate oral impacts on daily performance and to relate these data to oral clinical variables.

Material and methods

The study was performed at a dental clinic in Livingstone, Zambia, and included 78 subjects (mean age 28, range 15–48 years) consecutively recruited in connection with a dental care visit. Data were collected through a structured interview using the Oral Impacts on Daily Performances (OIDP) index measuring oral health-related quality of life followed by a clinical examination.

Results

Oral health affected one or more daily performances during the last 6 months for 61.5% of the subjects. ‘Difficulty of eating and enjoying food’ was the performance reported most frequently (42.3%), and ‘speaking and pronouncing clearly’ was least often reported (10.3%). DMFT was 3.8, ±3.6 (mean ± SD; range 0–15). A majority of the individuals had periodontal pockets ≥4 mm (mean 4.3, ±2.6) (94.9%) and gingival bleeding on probing >20% (88.5%). Two or more decayed teeth were shown to be significantly associated (OR 4.6, CI 1.2–17.1) with one or more oral impacts on daily performances in a multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions

This study shown that there is a significant association between decayed teeth and oral impacts on daily performances. More research is needed, however, for deeper understanding of oral health problems and their impacts on daily life in Zambia.

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