Background: Self-perceived oral health (SPOH) is a summary of multiple determinants related to oral health and has been suggested for use in clinical practice as a health assessment tool.
Aim: To analyse determinants of SPOH among adolescents.
Design: In 2018, we selected 1742 participants from eight high schools in Olinda/PE, Brazil, using a multistage stratified cluster sample. The main survey item of SPOH was ‘How would you rate your oral health’. Determinants of were queried with a questionnaire and a clinical examination: socio-demographic variables, exposure to family violence, somatic symptoms, and orofacial and general health factors. Pearson’s chi-square test and logistic regressions evaluated associations between determinants and SPOH.
Results: Very poor SPOH had a prevalence of 8.7%. Nearly half (43.5%) rated their oral health as ‘fair’. Very poor SPOH was associated with poor self-perceived general health (OR = 2.60), anterior open bite (OR = 2.24), not cohabiting with one or both parents (OR = 2.40), caries experience (OR = 1.93), dental pain (OR = 1.91), and temporomandibular disorders (OR = 1.77).
Conclusion: Very poor self-perceived oral health indicates life stress and associates with poor oral conditions. Assessments should be used to explore individual treatment needs and abilities to comply with recommendations.