To examine the relationship between social and financial support, behavioral and sociodemographic variables, and oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) in a national probability sample.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2004 data system was used; there were 12,761 persons selected for the sample, 10,122 of those were interviewed (79.3 %). Oral health-related quality of life, the outcome measure, was evaluated using seven items derived from the 14-item NHANES Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) included in the home interview. The aggregated OHRQoL scores ranged from 7 to 28. We included only adults, aged 20 and older, who self-reported their alcohol use during home interview (n = 5,014). Independent variables were social and financial support, and behavioral variables (smoking and alcohol use), with sociodemographic variables as covariates. Multiple linear regression analysis used weighted data representing 124 million persons.
Lack of financial support reduced OHRQoL, but not social support. Smoking reduced OHRQoL, but not alcohol use. Compared to ages 20–24, persons aged 24–44 and aged 45–64 had significantly lower OHRQoL scores, but persons aged 65+ did not. Latinos’ OHRQoL scores were lower than those of whites; there were no differences between whites and other ethnic groups.
The model provides insights into the perception of OHRQoL in that oral health related to the ability to pay for care. Those in the middle years (24–64) rate their OHRQoL lower than do their younger cohorts; there is no difference in OHRQoL between the young and the old.