Relationship between General Health Behaviors and Oral Health Behaviors in 2015-2016 NHANES Adult Population

Rami Saadeh, Irene Bober-Moken, Suman Challa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between general health behaviors and oral health behaviors in adults who participated in the interview component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2015 to 2016. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study design of a national data set that included 5,992 adults who represented a sample of civilian, noninstitutionalized US population. Statistical Analysis: Chi-squared test of independence was used to describe the relationship of demographic information with oral health behaviors of participants. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the association between general and oral health behaviors. Results: More than half (53.6%) of the participants had seen a dentist in the past 12 months and the main reason for that visit was for a regular checkup, cleaning, or examination. More than one-quarter (28.7%) reported visiting a dentist because something was hurting or bothering them. Most respondents (63.4%) reported being hardly ever or never having been embarrassed by their mouth condition. Age at one's first sexual encounter, having a new sexual partner, mental health counseling, moderate-intensity sports, and computer use were significantly associated with positive oral health behaviors. Conclusions: For maximum effectiveness, health promotion efforts should target risk behaviors common to both oral and general health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-412
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  • adults
  • general health behaviors
  • oral health behaviors
  • risk behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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