Oral Health Practices among Adult Population in Plateau State, Nigeria



oral health, social, practices


Objective: This study assessed the social determinants of oral health practices and habits among adult population in Plateau state.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out on 600 respondents, aged 18-65 years, from three senatorial zones of Plateau state through a multi-stage sampling technique. Representative LGA was selected from each senatorial zone by balloting with equal representation of 200 willing participants. A pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire used for data collection was adapted from WHO questions on oral health practice to include demographic variables and associated social factors. Data obtained were analyzed using SPSS 23.0 and associations were computed using Chi square, and relationships were considered significant at p? 0.05 at 95% confidence interval. Ethical approval and permissions were obtained from relevant authorities.

Results: The study involved 600 respondents and 578 (96.3%) questionnaires were returned correctly filled. Respondents consist of 55.9% males and 44.1% females in ratio of 1.27:1, and mean age of 32.3±13.5 years. Majority of respondents’ age group, educational and occupation status were ? 20 years (34.8%), secondary school (47.6%) and farming (41.7%) respectively. Oral health practices observed among respondents were; 51.9% cleaned/brushed their mouth twice daily, 88.6% use toothbrush as cleaning material, 6.1% shared toothbrush with their spouses, and 47.6% visited the dentist when they have oral disease. Dental visit was influenced by educational status (p=0.001) and occupation (p=0.001). Logistic regression analysis revealed significant correlation between visit to dentist and primary educational level (p=0.001, OR=3.353, 95% C.I=1.902-5.911), and occupations; farming (p=0.001, OR=0.221, 95% C.I=0.122-0.402) and business (p=0.001, OR=0.257, 95% C.I=0.177). Slightly over 70% of study respondents indulge in opening bottled drinks with their teeth while 18.5% use tobacco products and 25.8% consume alcohol.

Conclusion: The study observed that the majority of participants had good oral health practices and attitudes. However, percentage of respondents that indulge in negative oral habits such as opening of bottled drinks with one’s teeth, oral use of tobacco products and alcohol consumption were higher than reported values from neighbouring states. Further studies to identify factors influencing such habits are needed to proffer ways to curb them