The oral health of individuals with dental phobia: a multivariate analysis of the Adult Dental Health Survey, 2009

Br Dent J. 2017 Apr 21;222(8):595-604. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.361.


Background Adults with dental phobia have been reported to have poorer oral health and oral health-related quality of life. The aim of this study is to explore the social and demographic correlates of oral health and oral health-related quality of life (OH-QoL) of people with dental phobia compared to the non-phobic population in the United Kingdom using the data from Adult Dental Health Survey (ADHS, 2009).Method Secondary analysis of data from the ADHS, 2009. A series of logistic regression analyses was performed with outcome measures of: presence of decayed teeth; presence of missing teeth; pulp exposure ulceration fistula abscess (PUFA) score; periodontal health indices (plaque, bleeding and loss of attachments); and quality of life (oral health impact profile [OHIP14] and oral impacts on daily performance [OIDP]). Predictors included in the models were: the presence of dental phobia; age; gender; occupational status; oral health-related behaviour; dietary intake of sugars; and perception of their last visit.Results People with dental phobia are more likely to have one or more decayed (caries) teeth/missing teeth. Furthermore, their self-reported oral health-related quality of life (OH-QoL) is poorer. There were no differences in PUFA scores or periodontal disease.Conclusion The impact of dental phobia on oral health appears to operate largely through the increased likelihood of the presence of caries, since there is an increased likelihood of the presence of teeth with active caries and missing teeth when other predictors of disease experience are controlled in the analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Anxiety*
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology
  • Dental Health Surveys
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Health*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Report
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology