Oral health behaviours and perceptions reported by Indigenous Australians living in Darwin, Northern Territory Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: To describe the reported oral health behaviours and perceptions of Indigenous Australians living in Darwin, Northern Territory and to compare those with estimates for Darwin and Australia derived from the National Survey of Adult Oral Health (NSAOH). PARTICIPANTS: A total of 181 Indigenous Australians aged 22 years and over living in Darwin, participating in screening for a wider randomised clinical trial, were included. METHOD: Information on socio-demographic characteristics, oral health status including oral health behaviours and perceptions was collected using a questionnaire. Differences between the Darwin study (DS) participants and Australians in NSAOH were made based on non-overlapping 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: Almost 72% of DS participants had last seen a dentist over a year earlier, compared to 47% and 39% of NSAOH Darwin and Australian participants, respectively. A higher proportion of DS participants usually visited a dentist because of a problem than NSAOH Darwin and NSAOH Australian participants. A higher proportion of DS participants had avoided or delayed a dental visit because of cost than NSAOH participants. Over three times as many DS participants rated their oral health as fair/poor compared to NSAOH participants. A higher proportion of DS participants had perceived gum disease and one or more symptoms of gum disease than NSAOH participants. A higher proportion of DS participants experienced toothache, felt uncomfortable about appearance of their mouth and avoided eating because of oral problems than NSAOH participants. CONCLUSIONS: A higher proportion of Indigenous Australians living in Darwin presented with non-optimal oral health behaviours and perceptions compared with both the Darwin and Australian general populations.

authors

  • Amarasena, N
  • Kapellas, K
  • Skilton, M
  • Maple-Brown, L
  • Brown, A
  • Bartold, PM
  • O'Dea, K
  • Celermajer, D
  • Slade, G
  • Jamieson, LM

publication date

  • 2014

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