Income inequalities in oral health and access to dental services in the Brazilian population: National Health Survey, 2013
Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Despite the improvement in oral health conditions observed in the Brazilian population, there are still high social inequalities that must be monitored. Objective: To evaluate income inequality in oral hygiene practices, oral health status and the use of dental services in the adult and senior Brazilian population. Methods: Data from the National Health Survey conducted in 2013 (Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde - PNS 2013) were used for the population aged 18 years old or
... 8 years old or older. Results: Inequalities were found among the income strata in most of the oral health indicators evaluated. The greatest inequalities were observed in the use of dental floss, in hygiene practices (PR = 2.85 in adults and PR = 2.45 in seniors), and in total tooth loss (PR = 6.74 in adults and PR = 2.24 in seniors) and difficulty in chewing (PR = 4.49 in adults and PR = 2.67 in seniors) among oral condition indicators. The magnitude of inequalities was high in both groups in most oral condition indicators. Income was a factor that persisted in limiting access to dental services, and even the lower income segments had high percentages that paid for dental consultations. Conclusion: Based on data from the first PNS, the findings of this study enabled the identification of oral health and dental care aspects more compromised by income differentials, thus, contributing to the planning of dental care in Brazil and to stimulate the monitoring of these disparities with data from future surveys.