Open Access Open Badges Research article

Factors associated with self-reported number of teeth in a large national cohort of Thai adults

Vasoontara Yiengprugsawan1, Tewarit Somkotra2*, Matthew Kelly1, Sam-ang Seubsman3, Adrian C Sleigh1 and the Thai Cohort Study Team

Author Affiliations

1 National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

2 Department of Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

3 School of Human Ecology, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Nonthaburi, Thailand

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BMC Oral Health 2011, 11:31  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-11-31

Published: 24 November 2011



Oral health in later life results from individual's lifelong accumulation of experiences at the personal, community and societal levels. There is little information relating the oral health outcomes to risk factors in Asian middle-income settings such as Thailand today.


Data derived from a cohort of 87,134 adults enrolled in Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University who completed self-administered questionnaires in 2005. Cohort members are aged between 15 and 87 years and resided throughout Thailand. This is a large study of self-reported number of teeth among Thai adults. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to analyse factors associated with self-reported number of teeth.


After adjusting for covariates, being female (OR = 1.28), older age (OR = 10.6), having low income (OR = 1.45), having lower education (OR = 1.33), and being a lifetime urban resident (OR = 1.37) were statistically associated (p < 0.0001) with having less than 20 teeth. In addition, daily soft drink consumptions (OR = 1.41), current regular smoking (OR = 1.39), a history of not being breastfed as a child (OR = 1.34), and mother's lack of education (OR = 1.20) contributed significantly to self-reported number of teeth in fully adjusted analyses.


This study addresses the gap in knowledge on factors associated with self-reported number of teeth. The promotion of healthy childhoods and adult lifestyles are important public health interventions to increase tooth retention in middle and older age.