The aim was to investigate whether the self-estimation of oral and general health is correlated and related to clinical parameters for dental health. Furthermore, to investigate the influence of socioeconomic factors on the self-assessment of oral and general health. During 2007 a dental health survey was performed in the Community of Gävle located in central Sweden. 1, 224 subjects randomized from the general population of Gävle (adult population 75, 000) were invited to participate. Seven hundred and forty-eight individuals answered a questionnaire regarding their health and 373 of these subjects participated in a dental examination. Self-estimated oral and general health was correlated (p<0.0001, r=0.35) and individuals who perceived their oral health as bad had more decayed surfaces, surfaces with secondary caries, fewer teeth and more bleeding on probing than those with good estimated oral health (p<0.017 for all). In a logistic regression analysis with self-estimated oral health as the dependent variable was related to, the independent variables NT, DFT, self-estimated general health and age were related to self-estimated oral health, but not to income or educational level. However, subjects with low disposable income and low education level had significantly more clinical caries and fewer teeth than subjects with high income or a high educational level.
Conclusions: In the present study, self-estimation of oral and general health was correlated and related to some clinical oral parameters. Subjects in the low socioeconomic group had worse dental health and a tendency to underestimate their need of dental care.