Periodontal conditions of Colombian university students aged 16 to 35


Braz. oral res.




Epidemiological data on the periodontal health and oral hygiene practices of young individuals in Latin America are limited. This study was conducted in a sample of 355 first-year students randomly selected from 3,251 new students entering the largest university in Colombia. Participants received a periodontal examination and were interviewed about oral hygiene practices. Specifically, this study assessed the relationship between oral hygiene practices (including smoking tobacco) and plaque accumulation and/or periodontal bleeding on probing (BOP). Participants had extensive plaque accumulation and BOP, with a mean O´Leary plaque index of 56% and mean BOP of 37%. Both measures were higher for proximal surfaces. Plaque indices of at least 50% were not associated with any oral hygiene factors; however, plaque index and use of dental floss were associated with a BOP of at least 50%. Frequency of tooth brushing was higher in female than in male participants. Only 5% of participants reported smoking tobacco. On average, participants had 2.7 ± 4.6 pockets of at least 4 mm (18% of participants had ≥ 5 and 9% of participants had ≥ 10 pockets of this depth, respectively). On average, participants had 2.1 ± 4.4 sites with clinical attachment loss of at least 2 mm (15% and 6% of participants had ≥ 5 and ≥ 10 sites with this level of loss). Only 8% of participants were diagnosed with moderate periodontitis, and no participants were diagnosed with severe periodontitis. In conclusion, although participants had high levels of plaque and BOP, signs of advanced destructive periodontal disease were minimal.


health sciences

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