The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, extent, and severity of clinical attachment loss (CAL) and to investigate the association of demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral risk indicators with CAL in an untreated isolated population in Brazil.
All subjects aged > or =12 years were identified by a census. Participants were submitted to a full-mouth clinical examination of six sites per tooth and were interviewed using a structured, written questionnaire.
Among the 214 subjects who were interviewed and examined clinically, CAL > or =5 mm in at least one site was observed in 8% of the 12- to 19-year-olds and in all dentate subjects > or =50 years of age; the age-dependent prevalence of CAL > or =7 mm in at least one site ranged from 5% among 12- to 19-year-olds to 83% among subjects > or =50 years old. Multivariate analysis identified plaque (odds ratio [OR] = 2.8), supragingival calculus (OR = 2.9 to 10.6), age > or =30 years (OR = 11.4), and smoking (OR = 2.4) as risk indicators for CAL > or =5 mm and smoking (OR = 8.2) as a risk indicator for CAL > or =7 mm.
CAL is highly prevalent in this isolated population. The high occurrence of CAL in young age groups and the confirmation of traditional risk indicators for CAL in this study suggest that other factors, such as host susceptibility, may be needed to explain the high levels of CAL found. Age and behavioral factors were risk indicators associated significantly with the CAL found in this population and may be useful indicators of high-risk subjects for periodontal diseases.