Are Traumatic Dental Injuries Related to Areca Nut Chewing Experience? An Epidemiological Study in 15- to 18-year-old Students in Taiwan
Objectives: To conduct an epidemiological study of the prevalence of areca nut chewing in a sample of 15- to 18-year-old students in Taiwan. A special interest was to establish the relationship between traumatic dental injuries (TDI), physical exercise, physical fitness, risk taking behaviour, family structure, gender and areca nut chewing experience.
Methods: A random sample 5360 of 15- to 18-year-old senior high school students in southern Taiwan was selected. Each was examined with standard clinical procedures and a questionnaire. A hierarchical binary logistic regression method was used for statistical analysis.
Results: The prevalence of TDI and areca nut chewing was 19.7% and 3.2%, respectively. In a univariate logistic regression model, areca nut chewing experience was related to number of teeth sustaining TDI (p=0.024, OR=1.345, 95% CI: 1.040, 1.739). Inclusion of level of physical fitness and weekly hours of physical exercise in a multivariate logistic regression model did not overrule the connection between areca nut chewing experience and number of teeth sustaining TDI (p=0.030, OR=1.330, 95% CI: 1.027, 1.722). Further inclusion of family head’s level of education and living with non-birth parent(s) reduced the association between areca nut chewing experience and number of teeth sustaining TDI to a marginal level of significance (p=0.065, OR=1.275, 95% CI: 0.985, 1.650). Final inclusion of gender and risk taking behaviour score in the multivariate model rejected the relationship between TDI and areca nut chewing experience in this sample (p=0.548).
Conclusions: Adolescent TDI and areca nut chewing shared similar aetiological factors such as gender, risk taking behaviour, socio-economic status and family structure. After adjustment with other factors, TDI was not related to areca nut chewing experience. This demonstrated that further investigations into any significant univariate relationships are required.