Oral health in a convenience sample of Chinese older adults living in Melbourne, Australia

Rodrigo Mariño, Mike Morgan, Asuman Kiyak, Eli Schwarz, Syed Naqvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives To present data on the dental and periodontal status of a convenience sample of 101 ambulant Chinaborn older adults who now live in Melbourne. These older adults participated in a study to assess the prevalence of specific oral diseases. Methods Participants were interviewed in Cantonese using a structured questionnaire and received an oral examination to assess dental and periodontal status using the DMFS/T and CPI indices, respectively. Results This sample was largely a dentate one (94.1%); with a mean Decayed, Filled and Missing tooth surfaces (DMFS) score of 57.5 (SD 37.9). Approximately, 80% of the dentate sample had all their restorative needs met; 25% had a sound periodontium; 41% needed oral hygiene instruction plus scaling, while 6.3% required complex periodontal therapy. Compared with existing data on the oral health of older adults in Australia, Chinese immigrant older adults appear to have lower DMFS scores, a lower number of untreated decayed surfaces, a lower prevalence of gingivitis, and less need for complex periodontal treatment. Conclusion These tentative findings provide an initial assessment of the risk of oral diseases among a group immigrant older adults. This study highlights the need to collect relevant information in order to identify factors that influence the oral health of older immigrants to Australia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-390
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Oral health China-born Older adults Immigrant health Australia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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