Factors associated with having less than 20 natural teeth in rural adults: a cross-sectional study

BMC Oral Health. 2015 Dec 11;15:158. doi: 10.1186/s12903-015-0147-y.


Background: Some systematic reviews have consistently indicated a positive link between Metabolic syndrome, impairedfasting glucose, all-cause or circulatory disease-related mortality, general health, periodontitis, and toothloss. This study was to examine the prevalence of number of remaining teeth <20 and associated risk factors among adults in a rural area of Taiwan.

Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in southwestern coastal Taiwan in 2013; 6680 residents aged 20-64 years were studied. Oral hygiene, substance use, dietary habits, and metabolic syndrome were explored as potential risk factors for number of remaining teeth <20 using logistic regression analysis.

Results: The mean number of remaining teeth was 24.6 (SD = 7.4), and 16.3 % (n = 1085) of the participants had number of remaining teeth <20. Men had significantly less frequent use of dental floss, unhealthy dietary habits, more substance use and metabolic syndrome than did women (p <0.001). However, women tended to have fewer teeth than men (p <0.001). After adjusting for potential confounders, older age (odds ratio [OR] = 4.56, 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 3.74-5.55), female (OR = 1.88, 95 % CI: 1.56-2.25), less education (OR = 2.40, 95 % CI: 1.90-3.02), infrequent use of dental floss (OR = 1.94, 95 % CI: 1.66-2.27), substance use (OR = 1.32, 95 % CI: 1.09-1.59), and number of metabolic syndrome components (OR = 1.10, 95 % CI: 1.04-1.16) were independently associated with a higher risk of number of remaining teeth <20.

Conclusions: Number of remaining teeth <20 was highly prevalent among rural adults. In addition to unmodifiable factors, infrequent use of dental floss, substance use, and metabolic syndrome were risk factors associated with tooth loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth, Edentulous
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population*
  • Taiwan
  • Tooth Loss / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult