OBJECTIVE: The objective of the present study is to analyze how two dimensions of social position, education and social class, are associated with oral health among generally healthy, community-dwelling persons over the age of 80 years. METHODS: The present investigation is based on a sample of 157 community-dwelling individuals from The Kungsholmen Elders Oral Health Study (KEOHS) and included data from interviews and oral examinations. Social position was measured by education and social class. Oral health was measured by active coronal caries, active root caries, edentulism and use of dental services. RESULTS: The primary findings of the adjusted multivariate logistic regression analysis were that, compared to persons who had been in higher positions, persons who had been blue-collar/ white-collar workers had significantly greater odds of having coronal caries and high, but nonsignificant odds of being edentulous. Further, persons with elementary/ medium education tended to forego regular dental services more than persons with high education. CONCLUSION: The study identified social inequalities in oral health even in a population of independently living, generally healthy very old Swedes and in a country where the public health policies have tried to minimize these inequalities.
Keywords: Age Factors; Aged, 80 and over; Dental Caries; Educational Status; Female; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Logistic Models; Male; Odds Ratio; Oral Health; Questionnaires; Sex Factors; Social Class; Sweden; Tooth Crown; Tooth Loss; Tooth Root