Background: Oral health literacy (OHL) and dental health indicators in people with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are important health conditions that have been less investigated in this group of patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate oral health conditions and OHL in adult patients with cardiovascular conditions who referred to dental clinics in southwest, Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Ahvaz, Iran in 2021-2022. The oral and dental health status and literacy of 302 people were investigated, and data were collected using a standard questionnaire about OHL (with dimensions of comprehension and calculation ability), as well as demographic and medical information. Then, the patients were clinically examined by a dentist to determine oral health indicators (Decayed, missing, and filled teeth: DMFT) and oral health index (OHI-S). Finally, data were analyzed using SPSS, version 22.
Results: The mean DMFT was 11.06±3.55. According to the OHI-S, 124 (41.1%), 75 (24.8%), and 103 (34.1%) people were categorized in mean, good, and poor oral health levels, respectively. Pearson’s correlation coefficient demonstrated a direct, strong, and significant relationship between age and DMFT and OHI (r=0.702, r=0.678 P<0.001). The relationship between understanding ability and DMFT and OHI was inversely correlated (r=-0.389, r=-0.278, P<0.001), and the relationship between calculation ability and OHI, as well as between calculation ability and DMFT was inverse and significant ((r=-0.572, P<0.001) and r=-0.429, P<0.001, respectively).
Conclusion: The results showed that there is a relationship between OHL and OHI in people with CVD, although it is not in a favorable condition. As a result, the design, implementation, and evaluation of oral health education programs for patients with CVD are highly recommended, and it is imperative that oral and dental health be carefully monitored in these patients.