Temporal Trends in Oral Health: Understanding the Role of Social Conditions

Shih-Fan Lin, San Diego State University
Tracy Finlayson, San Diego State University

Oral health is inextricably linked to overall health, though its relation and importance to general health and well-being is often underappreciated. In addition to documenting overall temporal trends, we examine the changing social conditions that lead to socioeconomic and racial/ethnic oral health disparities over time, by taking a unique demographic and methodological approach employing Age-Period-Cohort (APC) models. We use over two decades of recent data from both the National Health Interview Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to understand these disparities in a variety of oral health outcomes. Preliminary results for edentulism indicate that despite flat period trends from 1990 through 2009, cohort trends have declined dramatically. After accounting for demographic factors and health behaviors, white women show the sharpest declines across cohorts whereas the trends for other groups show more modest declines.

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Presented in Poster Session 7