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Association between Obesity and Oral Symptoms in Korean Adolescents
Int J Clin Prev Dent 2018;14(3):177-183
Published online September 30, 2018
© 2018 International Journal of Clinical Preventive Dentistry.

Seon-Ju Sim

Department of Dental Hygiene, Baekseok University, Cheonan, Korea
Correspondence to: Seon-Ju Sim Department of Dental Hygiene, Baekseok University, 76 Munam-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan 31065, Korea. Tel: +82-41-550-2311, Fax: +82-41-550-2829, E-mail: vision
Received August 17, 2018; Revised September 7, 2018; Accepted September 13, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objective: Adolescent obesity is a growing problem which is related with a serious medical disease including poor oral health. Oral health is an important part in adolescents. So, the present study aimed to examine the association between oral symptoms and obesity in Korean adolescents.
Methods: The present study used data from the 2015 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey in analyzing 68,043 Korean adolescents. The dependent variables are oral symptoms (tooth pain in eating and gingival bleeding and aching), and independent variables are socioeconomic variables (sex, school type, city scale, economic status, education levels of parents, and academic achievement), health-related variables (drinking, smoking, and body mass index), and oral health-related variables (tooth brushing frequency, and the presence of interdental cleaning, and scaling) were collected by using a self-administered questionnaires. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between obesity and oral symptoms while controlling for confounders.
Results: Adolescents with low economic status, low parental education, and low academic achievement were more likely to be obese. And oral symptoms were associated with low economic status, low parental education, low school achievement, low tooth brushing frequencies. After adjusting for socioeconomic variables, health related variables, or oral health related variables, there was significant association between obesity and gingival bleeding and aching [odds ratio (95% confidence interval), 1.12 (1.04-1.20)]. 
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that obesity is closely associated with oral symptoms, especially with gingival bleeding and aching in Korean adolescents. Therefore, intervention programs are required to prevent obesity and oral health for adolescents on a national scale
Keywords : obesity, oral health, social class, adolescent

September 2018, 14 (3)