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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Factors associated with having less than 20 natural teeth in rural adults: a cross-sectional study

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Su-Jen Tsai, Ming-Shyan Lin, Wen-Nan Chiu, Su-Whi Jane, Liang-Tse Tu, Mei-Yen Chen
Wichtige Hinweise
Su-Jen Tsai and Ming-Shyan Lin contributed equally to this work.

Competing interests

The authors hereby declare that there were no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

SJT, MSL & MYC: Conceptualization of the study, study design, data analysis, discussion and editing of the final draft. WNC, SWJ & LTT: Conceptualization of the study and data collection. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Some systematic reviews have consistently indicated a positive link between Metabolic syndrome, impairedfasting glucose, all-cause or circulatory disease-related mortality, general health, periodontitis, and toothloss. This study was to examine the prevalence of number of remaining teeth <20 and associated risk factors among adults in a rural area of Taiwan.


A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in southwestern coastal Taiwan in 2013; 6680 residents aged 20–64 years were studied. Oral hygiene, substance use, dietary habits, and metabolic syndrome were explored as potential risk factors for number of remaining teeth <20 using logistic regression analysis.


The mean number of remaining teeth was 24.6 (SD = 7.4), and 16.3 % (n = 1085) of the participants had number of remaining teeth <20. Men had significantly less frequent use of dental floss, unhealthy dietary habits, more substance use and metabolic syndrome than did women (p <0.001). However, women tended to have fewer teeth than men (p <0.001). After adjusting for potential confounders, older age (odds ratio [OR] = 4.56, 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 3.74–5.55), female (OR = 1.88, 95 % CI: 1.56–2.25), less education (OR = 2.40, 95 % CI: 1.90–3.02), infrequent use of dental floss (OR = 1.94, 95 % CI: 1.66–2.27), substance use (OR = 1.32, 95 % CI: 1.09–1.59), and number of metabolic syndrome components (OR = 1.10, 95 % CI: 1.04–1.16) were independently associated with a higher risk of number of remaining teeth <20.


Number of remaining teeth <20 was highly prevalent among rural adults. In addition to unmodifiable factors, infrequent use of dental floss, substance use, and metabolic syndrome were risk factors associated with tooth loss.
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