Assessment of oral hygiene trends among dental patients in relation to chronic medical conditions by dental students. A cross-sectional study


Oral health awareness
general health
dental education


There is a lack of information about knowledge, attitude and behavior regarding oral hygiene and dietary habits of adult patients attending dental clinical settings. Hypertension, diabetes, obesity and caries are increasing among different populations, resulting in the deterioration of the quality of life related to oral and general health.

 Objectives: To involve second year dental students in assessing oral health knowledge, attitude, behavior, dietary habits and general health of dental patients, and screening for blood pressure, blood glucose level and obesity.

Participants and methods: A convenient sample of 652 adult subjects participated in the study. They were screened, and involved in an interviewer- led questionnaire, led by the students  over the period of two successive academic years (2013- 2014) and  (2014- 2015).

Results:  Subjects with high blood pressure and /or blood glucose levels were more likely to disagree regarding the presence of a relation between general health and dental health  [(r = -0.159, P-value <0.001) (r = -0.257, P-value <0.001) respectively]. Subjects with high BMI were less aware of the importance of using the tooth brush in prevention of gingival inflammation. The overall students’ satisfaction score was 71.5%. The practical part of the research had the highest satisfaction score (83.7%).

Conclusions: There is scarcity of data regarding dental healthcare knowledge and attitudes in dental clinical settings. Additional clinical training for dental students would increase their willingness to play a preventive and educational role in the oral care of patients.


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