Risk indicators for third molar caries and periodontal disease in senior adults.J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007 May; 65(5):958-63.JO
This study was designed to identify risk indicators for the prevalence at enrollment and incidence over 36 months of periodontal pathology and coronal caries experience affecting third molars in a community-based study of people over 65 years of age.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Data from a subsample of 810 dentate subjects from the Piedmont 65+ Study were available for analyses. All visible teeth were examined. Periodontal probing measures were taken at 2 sites, mesiobuccal and buccal/facial. Clinical data on caries experience were collected by visual-tactile examination. At enrollment, 340 subjects had at least 1 visible third molar; all were examined for caries experience. Periodontal probing measures were available for 277 of these same subjects. The significance of the possible risk indicators for periodontal pathology and caries affecting third molars was determined by chi(2) tests. Statistical significance was set at .05. Logistic multivariable models were used to derive odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.
African-American subjects were more likely to have visible third molars (P < .01). Caucasian subjects were more likely to have third molar coronal caries experience (P < .01), as were subjects with greater than a high school education and those with a dental visit within 3 years (both P < .01). However, African American subjects were more likely to have periodontal pathology, CALs >/= 3 mm on third molars (P < .01), as were those who used tobacco (P < .01). None of the other risk indicators we studied were associated with progression of periodontal pathology or coronal caries experience on visible third molars.
In this population study of senior adults, Caucasians and African Americans appear to have different levels of risk for caries experience and periodontal pathology affecting retained third molars.