Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Ashli Owen-Smith, PhD

Second Advisor

Dora Il'yasova, PhD


INTRODUCTION: Oral health disparities remain a significant public health issue for US adults: 47.2% of US adults suffer from some form of periodontal diseases and 9% US adults have advanced periodontal disease. Unfortunately, not much is known about the sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with these poor oral health outcomes. This study aims to estimate the association of sociodemographic and clinical factors and poor oral health outcomes among US adults.

METHODS: Data from the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used in the analysis for the participants aged 30 years and older (n=4813). All analyses were done in SAS 9.4 and weighted due to complex survey sampling methods. Logistic regression models were used to examine the association between sociodemographic and clinical factors and poor oral health outcomes.

RESULTS: This study found that the survey participants ages 30-44 years and participants from low socioeconomic status had decreased association for periodontal diseases. Furthermore, participants who aged 65 years and older and who were from Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Black race/ethnicity had increased association for periodontal diseases. Limited access to dental care also had increased association for the advanced periodontal disease.

Conclusion:To develop future interventions that can address oral health disparities, further research is needed that examines the sociodemographic and clinical factors impacting poor oral health outcomes.