To investigate the association between socioeconomic position and periodontal diseases among adolescents.
Data were obtained from 9203 Chilean high school students. Clinical examinations included direct recordings of clinical attachment level and the necrotizing ulcerative gingival lesions. Students answered a questionnaire on various dimensions of socioeconomic position. Seven periodontal outcomes were analyzed. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify socioeconomic variables associated with the periodontal outcomes.
The occurrence of all periodontal outcomes investigated followed social gradients, and paternal income and parental education were the most influential variables.
The study demonstrates the existence of significant social gradients in periodontal diseases already among adolescents. This is worrying, and indicates a new potential for further insight into the mechanisms of periodontal disease causation.