Background Socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with systemic disease and influences oral and general health. Several studies have found inequalities associated with oral health and SES. We examined the relationship between tooth loss and SES in Korean adults using data from the 2012–2013 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Methods: A total of 7,005 participants were included in this study. Subjects were divided into two groups depending on their total number of natural teeth: <20 and 20. Next, participants were divided into quartiles depending on household income and educational level. Multivariate logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (OR) for remaining teeth according to income and education levels. Results As income and education levels increased, subjects were more likely to have 20 remaining teeth (p-value and p-value for trend <0.001), brush their teeth more than three times per day, use extra oral products, and have regular oral-health checkups (all p<0.001). The odds of having 20 remaining teeth increased with increases in income and education, after adjusting for all covariates (OR = 1.493 for income Q3, OR = 1.571 for income Q4; OR = 1.763 for 10–12 years education, OR = 2.189 for 13years education). Conclusion Subjects with higher SES had more remaining teeth than subjects with lower SES. Preserving remaining teeth should be encouraged in subjects with low SES by promoting good oral-health behavior and encouraging more oral-health checkups.
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