Objective: To investigate the oral health status of 35- to 44-year-old Iranians in relation to gender, place of residence and education. Subjects and Methods: In 2002, data (n = 8,301) were collected as part of a national survey using WHO criteria for sampling and clinical diagnoses across 28 provinces by 33 calibrated examiners who performed examinations under a dental light with a WHO probe. The study sample was 8,301; male: 3,625 and female: 4,676; urban: 4,854 and rural: 3,447. Oral health status was assessed by number of decayed (DT), filled (FT) and missing (MT) teeth and by DMFT and need for periodontal treatment [community periodontal index for treatment needs (CPITN)] indices. Gender, age, place of residence and level of education served as socio-demographic information. Estimates were adjusted for the 35- to 44-year-old provincial population. ANOVA, χ2 test and logistic regression analysis with odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were the methods of statistical evaluation used. Results: The mean number of teeth was 21.5 ± 6.2, with DMFT: 11.0 ± 6.4, DT: 2.6 ± 2.7, and FT: 1.8 ± 3.2. DT existed in 6,080 (73%) of the subjects and FT in 3,209 (41%). The mean number of FT was greater (p < 0.001) among urban residents, women and those with a higher level of education. Only 1% had a CPITN of 0; 6% exhibited bleeding, 40% had calculus, 43% shallow and 10% deep pockets. Illiterate subjects were more likely to have DT (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.4–1.8) and calculus or periodontal pockets (OR = 6.3, 95% CI = 5.1–7.8). Conclusion: The findings indicate an impaired oral health status in Iranian adults, particularly those of low social status and educational level.

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