Associations between factories’ environmental factors and workers’ oral health status
Background: In Thailand, dental caries prevalence in adults is high (86.7%). Oral health services focused on children age groups while adults were relatively neglected. Four million adult workers were in a factory setting. Factory’s environment might affect oral health status of their workers. This study aimed to assess associations between factories’ environmental factors and workers’ oral health status.
Methods: Seven factories in Kaengkhoi district of Saraburi province with not more than 200 workers were invited. Oral examinations were conducted to assess dental caries and oral hygiene status. Socio-demographic and behavior information were obtained by interview, using a standardized questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney-U tests, negative binomial and binary logistic regressions.
Results: Six factories participated in the study. Numbers of workers for each factory were between 28 and 35 workers. Dental caries and oral hygiene of workers differed between the six factories. Workers in factories where wash basins were available in toilets had 60% (IRR= 0.4 (0.2-0.9)) fewer decayed teeth (DT score) and 7 times (OR= 7.0 (2.2-22.8)) more likely to have good oral hygiene. Workers in medium size factories, those working in factory that provided additional health insurance were three times more likely to have good oral hygiene.
Conclusion: Environmental factors of factory namely wash basin in toilet, factory size and additional health insurance factories were associated with caries and oral hygiene of workers.
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