Oral Health Status And Service Utilization Among A Group Of Rural Older Nigerians.
To determine oral health status and explore factors associated with use professional oral health care among a Nigerian rural older population.
Recruitments of 400 participants aged 60 and above done by multi - stage-sampling method. Pretested structured questionnaire administered with oral examination done.
Mean ages of participants were 67.06+/- 8.37 years. Proportion of participants with poor oral hygiene was 49.5%, caries (17.4%), periodontal disease (16.5%), tooth loss (71.3%) and tooth replacement was done by 5.5% of this population. Majority (64.8%) had never used professional oral health care. Main reason for seeking professional care was pain (73.05%). The proportion that went for routine check up (8.5%) was the least.
Proximity to dental service (p = 0.01), presence of oral pain (<0.001), attitude to professional oral care (p = <0.001) and ability to afford professional dental care (p = 0.001) had significant association, with utilization of professional oral care.
The poor oral health and elevated tooth loss are at variance with universal access to health and the rural older population is deprived of oral health interventions. There are various factors attributed to these, such as financial constraint and negative attitude. All of these may translate to social exclusion of the rural older population.
Oral health in the older population studied is poor with an increased tendency to tooth loss and poor utilization of professional oral care. Factors influencing professional oral care were proximity to the service centre, attitude to oral health, and perception of cost.