Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Lenora Institute of Dental Sciences

2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Chadalavada Krishna Teja Dental College and Hospital, Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh, India


INTRODUCTION: Health literacy is an important issue in public health. Individuals with low health
literacy skills often have poorer health knowledge and health status than those with higher literacy
level. Research documented on the assessment of oral health literacy in health settings and its
association with oral health outcomes for adolescents was scarce.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to assess oral health literacy about oral health
status among adolescents attending pre‑university colleges in Mysore , India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross‑sectional study was conducted over a period of 2 months
among 401 adolescents attending pre‑university colleges. Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine
and Dentistry‑20 (REALMD‑20) and the WHO oral health assessment pro forma for adults (2013)
were used. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 22 and tests employed were Chi‑square test,
ANOVA, and multiple linear regression.
RESULTS: Mean REALMD‑20 score was 10.31 ± 5.7. The study participants belonging to
science course (12.69 ± 5.0) and private pre‑university colleges (11.76 ± 5.8) had significantly
higher REALMD‑20 scores. Mean decayed, missing, and filled teeth among the study participants
was (0.42 ± 0.9). Type of college, course, dental history, and number of dental visits was significantly
associated with oral health literacy while oral health parameters were not significantly associated.
CONCLUSION: Oral health literacy was not significantly associated with oral health status. However,
long‑term studies are recommended to validate the results of the present study.


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