Background and Objective: Oral health is significantly impacted by an individual’s social interactions and quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between oral health status and socio-demographic factors, in particular, monthly income and level of education, of a rural community in Pakistan.
Methods: This cross-sectional survey study was conducted among n = 380 people from the Jahangirabad community of Multan from July 2021 to September 2021. A validated questionnaire was designed to be filled by the subjects or the researchers in case of low literacy levels. Two qualified oro-dental examiners assessed all the subjects for their oral health status by using the community periodontal index of the treatment needs (CPITN index).
Results: There were 209 males and 171 females. As regards the status of education, 27% of the subjects had no formal education, 21% of respondents were primary (5th grade) pass, 31.9% attended secondary school, 10.7% got higher secondary school education, whereas 9.4% of respondents had passed the college/university examination. The majority of the participants (46.7%) had income within the range of 10,000-20,000 Pakistani rupees per month, whereas only 12.8% of subjects reported earning more than Rs. 50,000 per month. No significant association was found between average monthly income and oral health status; however, the CPITN score and the higher level of education (high school and college/university) showed a significant association (p-value = 0.012).
Conclusion: Level of education, independent of socioeconomic status, is identified as a potential risk factor for poor oral health status among the rural community in Pakistan. Dental practitioners should consider enhancing timely screening and awareness campaigns, especially within this specific class of community, to improve oral health outcomes.