[Oral health in young adults in Germany--a comparison between women and men of the German army]

Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed. 2008;118(10):944-50.
[Article in German]


The objective of this cross-sectional study was to compare oral health in young German women and men. We paired female and male soldiers of the German armed force (Bundeswehr) on the basis of age, school qualification and origin. All participants underwent a clinical examination. Oral health was assessed using the decayed, missing and filled surfaces index (DMF-S), an oral hygiene index (QHI), and a periodontal index (CPITN). In addition, we collected data on the subjects' smoking habits. The study included 90 women (mean age: 21.7 years) and 90 men (mean age: 21.4 years). The mean DMF-S was 20.7 +/- 13.7 for women and 21.0 +/- 19.8 for men (p>0.05). In the female group, dental restorations were present in 71% of the teeth affected by caries. In the male group, restorations were present in 61.2% (p=0.04). The female group showed a less marked polarisation of caries than the male group (p=0.03). Oral hygiene (QHI) was poor in the entire study population. Women (QHI: 2.16 +/- 0.6), however, exhibited significantly better oral hygiene than men (QHI: 2.53 +/- 0.5) (p= 0.01). Deeper probing depths (CPITN scores of 3 and 4) were less frequently seen in females than in males (p= 0.04). In both groups more than half of the participants were smokers (56.7%) since at least four years with more than ten cigarettes per day. Smoking had a significant influence on periodontal health (p=0.02). Men showed poorer oral health than women. The study emphasizes that the proportion of young adults requiring curative dental treatment remains high in Germany. It also underlines the need for intensive preventive care including cessation of smoking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Oral Health
  • Oral Hygiene Index
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult