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Open Access Research article

Oral health in the Japan self-defense forces - a representative survey

Yuka Kudo1, Mike T John2, Yoko Saito1, Shachi Sur1, Chisako Furuyama1, Hiroaki Tsukasaki1 and Kazuyoshi Baba1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Showa University, Japan

2 Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota, USA

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BMC Oral Health 2011, 11:14  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-11-14

Published: 19 April 2011

Abstract

Background

The oral health of military populations is usually not very well characterized compared to civilian populations. The aim of this study was to investigate two physical oral health characteristics and one perceived oral health measure and their correlation in the Japan self-defense forces (JSDF).

Methods

Number of missing teeth, denture status, and OHRQoL as evaluated by the Japanese 14-item version of the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-J14) as well as the correlation between these oral health measures was investigated in 911 personnel in the JSDF.

Results

Subjects did not have a substantial number of missing teeth and only 4% used removable dentures. The mean OHIP-J14 score was 4.6 ± 6.7 units. The magnitude of the correlation between the number of missing teeth with OHIP-J14 scores was small (r = 0.22, p < 0.001). Mean OHIP-J14 scores differed between subjects with and without dentures (8.6 and 4.4, p < 0.001).

Conclusions

Compared to Japanese civilian populations, personnel of the JSDF demonstrated good oral health. Two physical oral health characteristics were associated with perceived oral health.