Differences in self-reported oral health among community-dwelling black, hispanic, and white elders

Bei Wu, Brenda L. Plassman, Jersey Liang, R. Corey Remle, Lina Bai, Richard J. Crout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To compare differences in self-rated oral health among community-dwelling Black, Hispanic, and White adults aged 60 and older. Method: A total of 4,859 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2004) provided self-report information on oral health. Results: Blacks and Hispanics reported poorer self-rated oral health than Whites. In separate dentate and edentulous groups, socioeconomic status, social support, physical health, clinical oral health outcomes, and dental checkups accounted for much of the difference in self-rated oral health in Blacks, but significant differences remained for Hispanics. Discussion: The study findings may have important implications for health policy and program development. Programs and services designed for minority populations should target treatments for dental diseases and include components that take into account subjective evaluations of oral health conditions and perceived dental needs of the individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-288
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • African Americans
  • Geriatrics
  • Hispanic health
  • Social factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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