Racial Disparities in Oral Health; Analysis of 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Ameh Governor Godfrey1*, Narte Emmanuel2, Inungu Joseph1, Shayestah Jahanfar3 and Uchechukwu Okonkwo4
1Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tuft University school of
Medicine, MA, USA
2Department of Statistics, Central Michigan University, Michigan, USA
3Department of Public Health, Tuft University School of Medicine, Michigan, USA
4School of Dentistry, University of Benin, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Ameh Governor Godfrey, School of Health Professions,
Central Michigan University, Michigan, USA.
Received: December 05, 2022; Published: January 04, 2023
Background: Poor oral health continues to be stratified around race in twenty-first-century America. This study examines the differential access to dental healthcare and oral health disparities by race. It specifically evaluates other socioeconomic and demographic factors to detect social determinants of dental health disparities among different racial groups in America.
Methodology: This is a large cross-sectional population-based study of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System of American Adult. The survey includes 401,958 American adults aged 18 and above who provided valid responses to variables of interest. Logistic regression modeling was conducted to examine the relationship between the reported last dental visit and race, adjusted for potential confounders.
Results: About 67.2% of respondents reported at the dentist within the last year and majority were Non-Hispanic Whites. (69.7%). Following adjustments, Black Non-Hispanics were 23.1% less likely to report dental visits within the last year, AOR 0.77 95% CI 0.75, 0.7, compared to White Non-Hispanics. Smokers and Male respondents had decreased odds of dental visits, AOR 0.63 95% CI 0.61, 0.64, and AOR 0.75 95% CI 0.73, 0.76 respectively. The odds of visiting a dentist within the last year increased with higher age, higher education level, and increased household income.
Conclusion: Despite several attempts to bridge racial disparities in access to oral health care, disparities persist. The preliminary results from our study strengthen the call for a deeper understanding of the patterns of racial disparities and ways in which it influences the utilization of health services.
Keywords:Oral health; Race; Disparities; Dental Visit; Dentistry
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