The Association Between the Utilization of Preventative Dental Treatment and the Experience of Arthritis Symptoms and Pain Severity Open Access

Parada, Karelys Izamar (2016)

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Objective: Previous studies have shown evidence of an association between periodontal disease and arthritis disease activity. The goal of this analysis was to evaluate the association between preventative dental treatment utilization and arthritis symptoms and pain severity in adults with arthritis in a nationally representative sample.

Methods: Data from 2010-2014 National Health Interview Survey on adults ages ≥18 was used to measure the prevalence of individuals who had seen the dentist ≤1 year ago, along with three measures of arthritis disease activity (joint pain/aching/stiffness in the past 30 days, pain began >3 months ago, level of joint pain severity). Logistic regression models were constructed to measure the association of time since last seeing the dentist with joint pain and time of symptom onset. Secondly, using only 2014 data, a proportional odds logistic regression model examined the effect of time since last seeing the dentist had on 3 levels of pain severity (Mild, Moderate, and Severe).

Results: After weighting the data and controlling for gender, age, race/ethnicity, smoking, BMI, education, marital status, and health insurance coverage, it was found that, for individuals who last saw the dentist ≤1 year ago, the OR for joint symptoms in the past 30 days was 0.83 (95% CI: 0.83-0.83) and the OR for symptoms beginning >3 months ago was 0.93 (95% CI: 0.92-0.93). Additionally, frequent dental visits were associated with reduced pain severity (proportional OR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.68-0.69).

Conclusion: There is evidence to suggest an association between preventative dental treatments and arthritis symptoms and severity. These findings support the public health efforts to promote dental care for individuals with arthritis.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Arthritis 1

Periodontal Disease 6

The Link Between Arthritis and Periodontal Disease 7

Methods 9

Study Design and Sample 9

Time Since Last Saw the Dentist Dertermination and Grouping 10

Outcome Variables 10

Joint Pain Symptoms 10

Timing of Symptoms 11

Joint Pain Severity 11

Covariates 11

Statistical Analysis 12

Results 14

Descriptive Data of the Sample 14

Association Between Time Since Saw Dentist and Arthritis Symptoms 18

Discussion 20

References 26

Tables 30

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