Several hypotheses on factors that influence oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) have been proposed but a consensus has not been reached. This cross-sectional study aimed to analyse the sociodemographic and clinical factors that may influence the OHRQoL of 15-year-old children.
A representative sample was selected from Hong Kong. Periodontal status and caries were examined according to WHO criteria. Four orthodontic indices were used to assess malocclusion. Child Perception Questionnaire (CPQ11–14, 37 items) including four domains, namely oral symptoms (OS), functional limitations (FL), emotional well-being (EWB), and social well-being (SWB), was used to measure OHRQoL. Adjusted OR was calculated by ordinal logistic regression.
A total of 364 eligible subjects (186 girls, 178 boys) were recruited. The prevalence of caries was higher in girls than in boys (P = 0.013). Compared with girls, boys tended to have a better experience in the domains of EWB, SWB and the total CPQ (adjusted OR = 0.46, 0.59 and 0.61, respectively). Unhealthy periodontal conditions were more prevalent than caries (92.6% vs. 52.7%); moreover, periodontal conditions with CPI scores of 2 had a negative effect on the domain of SWB and the total CPQ (adjusted OR = 1.76 and 1.71, respectively). Only the most severe malocclusion showed an effect on the domain of FL and the total CPQ (adjusted OR = 1.55 and 2.10, respectively). Little effect of family ecosocial factors and caries was found on CPQ scores.
In this study, gender, periodontal status, and malocclusion showed an effect on OHRQoL after adjusting for potential confounders. Boys had less caries and better OHRQoL than girls did. Unhealthy periodontal conditions led to worse social welfares and OHRQoL. The most severe level of malocclusion caused oral functional limitations, hence worse OHRQoL.