Introduction: Oral health inequalities imply unequal distribution of health and disease across socioeconomic gradients. Oral health related behaviour and its psychosocial antecedents can have a major impact on oral disease pathways in communities. Aim: To ascertain disparities in oral health behaviour and its psychosocial antecedents among young adults in Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Materials and Methods: Present study was carried out among 341 degree students at three randomly chosen institutions belonging to government, aided and private colleges in Mangalore. Oral health behaviour was assessed by a structured, pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire. Information about oral hygiene habits, tobacco use, sugar consumption, dental attendance patterns were collected. Respondent's self-reported gingivitis, perceived general and oral health, perceived need for care and locus of control were assessed. Information about demographic details was collected. Correlation analysis employed Pearson’s correlation coefficient and binary logistic regression analysis was employed with snacking as dependent variable. Results: Twice daily brushing was significantly associated with gender (r=0.142, p=0.009), type of college (r=-0.164, p=0.003) and father’s occupation (r=0.107, p=0.049), while tobacco use was significantly associated with gender (r=0.284, p=0.000), religion (r=-0.234, p=0.000), type of college (r=0.312, p=0.000), father’s education (r=0.130, p=0.017) and occupation (r=0.120, p=0.027). Self-perceived oral health was significantly associated with snacking (r=0.173, p=0.001) and tobacco use (r=-0.261, p=0.000), while locus of control was associated with snacking (r=0.140, p=0.009). Regression analysis revealed that father’s education (OR=0.399, p=0.014), self-perceived need for care (OR=0.354, p=0.009), and locus of control (OR=0.166, p=0.003) emerged as significant predictors of snacking behaviour. Conclusion: Psychosocial antecedents were significantly associated with oral health behaviour among the respondents. Policy and decision makers should consider causes of causes while tackling oral health problems. Present study may contribute towards addressing oral health inequalities in developing nations, where oral health issues are compounded by a definite paucity of resources.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry