Chronic oral disadvantage, a measure of long-term decrements in oral health-related quality of life

L. Scott Chavers, Gregg H. Gilbert, Brent J. Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Few studies have investigated the relation between oral health-related quality of life (HRQL) and key demographic, socioeconomic, and oral health decrements. Methods: Data were taken from 873 participants from the Florida Dental Care Study. Chronic oral disadvantage was defined from incident oral disadvantage, a measure of oral HRQL, reported for a minimum of two consecutive 6-month intervals. Patterns of chronic oral disadvantage over the 24-month period were described. Associations between the dependent variable, chronic oral disadvantage, and demographic variables, socioeconomic variables, oral health decrements, and dental services were evaluated. Results: During 24 months of follow-up, 30% of subjects reported chronic oral disadvantage. Chronic oral disadvantage was significantly associated with approach to dental care, area of residence, situation if faced with an unexpected $500 dental bill, teeth that are stained or look bad, cavities, sore or infected gums, loose tooth or cap, toothache or abscess, dental sensitivity, and chewing difficulty. A recent dental visit was associated with reduced progression to chronic oral disadvantage. Conclusion: A large proportion of subjects avoided certain daily activities due to oral health decrements for longer than 6 months. Recent dental visits were significantly associated with limitation of long-term progression of oral disadvantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The opinions and assertions contained herein are those of the authors and are not to be construed as necessarily representing the views of the University of Alabama at Birmingham or the National Institutes of Health. The informed consent of all human subjects who participated in this investigation was obtained after the nature of the procedures had been explained fully. An Internet home page devoted to details about the Florida Dental Care Study can be found at http:// (formerly at http:// This investigation was supported by NIH DE-11020, DE-12457, and DE-14164.


  • Dental health services
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Oral health
  • Quality of life
  • Socioeconomic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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