Dental caries is preventable if favorable health behavior is successfully established. Exploring the broader concept of lifestyle will be useful to determine that how lifestyle of people can affect dental caries.
The aim of this study was to determine the impact of overall lifestyle of an individual (analyzed using health practice index) on dental caries of adult population.
Material and methods:
This cross-sectional study comprising structured questions on health practice index, sociodemographic variables, and oral health-related behavior was conducted on 800 study subjects of age 20-50 years attending outreach dental setups of a dental school in India. Dental caries was recorded with decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index.Statistical analysis was carried out using frequency distribution for variables related to lifestyle, mean ± standard deviation for DMFT, and negative binomial regression to predict a dependent variable (DMFT) that consisted of "count data."
The study subjects who were older age, women, unemployed, and unskilled; those with lower education, lesser income, and lower socioeconomic status; those never visited dentist; and those with lesser frequency of cleaning teeth, overall poorer lifestyles, and moderate lifestyles were more prone to have dental caries than their counterparts.
Dental caries is a multifactorial disease. Patients' involvement in self-care by promoting healthy behaviors such as brushing twice a day, visiting dentist regularly, negating orally abusive substance addiction, having breakfast every day, eating a balanced diet, and reducing stress leads to an overall good lifestyle. These factors along with sleeping a minimum of 7-8h per night and working for 8-9h per day and ample daily exercise may help patients improve or protect their oral health for years to come.