Oral health behavior and factors associated with poor oral status in Qatar: results from a national health survey

Sohaila Cheema, Patrick Maisonneuve, Mohamed Hamad Al-Thani, Al Anoud Mohammed Al-Thani, Amit Abraham, Ghanim Ali Al-Mannai, Abdulla Asad Al-Emadi, Walaa Fattah Al-Chetachi, Badria Ali Almalki, Shams Eldin Ali Hassan Khalifa, Ahmad Omar Haj Bakri, Albert Lowenfels, Ravinder Mamtani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Oral health is a crucial determinant of quality of life. We aimed to determine oral health condition and factors associated with poor oral status in the adult national population of Qatar. Methods: We used data from the World Health Organization supported STEPS (STEPwise approach to Surveillance) Survey conducted by the Supreme Council of Health, Qatar in 2012. A total of 2,496 Qataris (1,053 men, 1,443 women) answered the national survey. The Rao-Scott Chi-Square test was used to analyze oral health characteristics and multinomial logistic regression to assess risk factors. Results: The self-perceived oral status of approximately 40 percent of respondents was either “average” or “poor” rather than “good.” Poor oral status was more often reported by women (OR = 1.93; 95%CI = 1.30-2.80), by older (OR = 3.38; 95%CI = 1.59-7.19) and less educated respondents (OR = 3.58; 95%CI = 2.15-5.96). Other risk groups included people with diabetes (OR = 1.87; 95%CI = 1.24-2.81), smokeless tobacco users (OR = 3.90; 95%CI = 1.75-8.68), or ever tobacco users (OR = 1.66; 95%CI = 1.03-2.67). Oral health status appeared to be independent of diet, BMI status, and history of hypertension. Difficulties and behaviors related to oral health were more frequently reported by women than by men. These included pain (P < 0.001), difficulty chewing (P < 0.001), and discomfort over appearance of teeth (P < 0.001). Participants used toothbrushes, toothpicks, dental floss, and miswak to maintain oral hygiene. Conclusion: Our results provide evidence that oral health remains a public health concern in Qatar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-316
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017


  • dental status
  • national survey
  • oral health
  • oral symptoms
  • Qatar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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