University of Oulu

Vainionpää, Raija; Peltokangas, Arto; Leinonen, Jukka; Pesonen, Paula; Laitala, Marja-Liisa; Anttonen, Vuokko (2017) Oral health and oral health-related habits of Finnish prisoners. BDJ Open volume 3, Article number: 17006, doi: 10.1038/bdjopen.2017.6.

Oral health and oral health-related habits of Finnish prisoners

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Author: Vainionpää, Raija1; Peltokangas, Arto1; Leinonen, Jukka1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Department of Cariology, Endodontology and Paediatric Dentistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of Oral Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-01-30


Objectives/Aims: This cross-sectional study aimed to examine oral health and oral health-related habits among prisoners at the Pelso Prison in Finland.

Materials and Methods: Participants in this cross-sectional study comprises 100 inmates. A calibrated dentist recorded the decayed, filled and missed teeth as well as periodontal status (bleeding-on-probing, pocket probing and Community Periodontal Index) among the participants (n=100). Fifty inmates were also interviewed for marital status, education and oral health-related habits. The Ethical Committee of the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District and the Criminal Sanctions Agency approved the study protocol.

Results: The participants were on average 35 years old and had 5 (s.d. 5.1) decayed teeth in need of restorative treatment, whereas DMFT was 17 (s.d. 8.9). Half of the study population had periodontal disease in need of professional treatment. Almost all reported brushing their teeth daily. Two-third ate sweets, one-third drank fizzy drinks and majority smoked every day. Almost two-third had used illicit drugs at some point of their lives. Almost all drunk alcohol once a week or more often. No statistically significant associations were discovered between dental treatment need and explanatory factors.

Discussion: Prisoners appear to be a homogenous group with poor oral health and harmful health behaviours.

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Series: BDJ open
ISSN: 2056-807X
ISSN-E: 2056-807X
ISSN-L: 2056-807X
Volume: 3
Article number: 17006
DOI: 10.1038/bdjopen.2017.6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
Funding: RV also acknowledges a personal grant provided by the Finnish Dental Organisation of Women.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2017. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit