CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Eur J Dent 2013; 07(01): 022-027
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1698991
Original Article
Dental Investigation Society

The relationship between dental health behavior, oral hygiene and gingival status of dental students in the United Arab Emirates

Betul Rahman
1   General and Specialist Dental Practice, College of Dentistry, University of Sharjah, UAE
Sausan Al Kawas
2   Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences Department, College of Dentistry, University of Sharjah, UAE
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
15 October 2019 (online)


Objective: The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of knowledge acquired in preventive aspects of dental education on dental students’ own health attitudes, oral hygiene and gingival status in the United Arab Emirates.

Methods: To compare the self-reported oral health behavior of first year dental students in the University of Sharjah with their actual oral hygiene and gingival conditions, 93 volunteers who participated in the study completed the Hiroshima University-Dental Behavioral Inventory (HU-DBI) questionnaire. Subsequently a clinical examination for their Plaque Scores (Modified Quigley Hein Plaque Index) and Gingival Bleeding Index was performed by a calibrated dentist.

Results: 29% of the participants reported bleeding gums; 83% were concerned by the color of their gums while 63% reported that it was impossible to prevent gum disease with brushing alone; and only 10% noticed some sticky white deposits on their teeth. However, approximately 92% were not in agreement that they would have false teeth when they grew older. 56% mentioned that they used dental floss regularly and 86% brushed twice daily or more. Male students had higher bleeding and plaque scores than female students. There appeared to be a significant relationship between plaque scores and HU-DBI responses; in addition to the significant relationship noted between recorded bleeding percentages and HU-DBI responses.

Conclusion: Female students have shown better dental care behavior than male students. The dental students with better self-reported oral health attitudes were expected to have lower plaque scores but instead had moderate plaque and gingival bleeding scores. This indicates the need for more emphasis on preventive measures in oral health education. (Eur J Dent 2013;7:22-27)


  • 1 Bertolami C. Rationalizing the dental curriculum in light of current disease prevalence and patient demand for treatment: form vs. content. J Dent Educ 2001;65:725-735.
  • 2 Cortes FJ, Nevot C, Ramon JM, Cuenca E. The Evolution of Dental Health in Dental Students at the University of Barcelona. J Dent Educ 2002;66:1203-1208.
  • 3 Yorty JS, Brown B. Caries risk assessment/treatment programs in U.S. dental schools. J Dent Educ 1999;63:745-747.
  • 4 Lang NP, Cumming BR, Loe HA. Oral hygiene and gingival health of Danish dental students and faculty. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1977;5:237-242.
  • 5 Cavaillon JP, Conge M, Mirisch D, Nemeth T, Sitbon JM. Longitudinal study on oral health of dental students at Paris VII University. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 1982;10:137- 143.
  • 6 Yildiz S, Dogan B. Self reported dental health attitudes and behavior of dental students in Turkey. Eur J Dent 2011;5: 253-259.
  • 7 El-Mostehy MR, Zaki HA. The dental stud¬ent’s attitude towards the profession as reflected in his oral cavity. Egypt Dent J 1969;15:104-109.
  • 8 Al Kawas S, Fakhruddin KS, Ur Rehman B. A comparative study of oral health attitudes and behaviour between dental and medical students; the impact of dental education in United Arab Emirates. J Int Dent Med Res 2010;3: 6-10.
  • 9 Kawamura M, Yip HK, Hu DY, Komabayashi T. A cross-cultural comparison of dental health attitudes and behavior among freshman dental students in Japan, Hong-Kong and West China. Int Dent J 2001;51:159-163.
  • 10 Fermin A Carranza. Glickman’s Clinical Periodontology. W.B. Saunders Company. 1990:310.
  • 11 Ainamo J, Bay I. Problems and proposals for recording gingivitis and plaque. Int Dent J 1975;25:229-235.
  • 12 Al-Omari QD, Hamasha AA. Gender-Specific Oral Health Attitudes and Behavior among Dental Students in Jordan. J Contemp Dent Pract 2005;6:107-114.
  • 13 Al-Wahadni A M, AL-Omiri M K, Kawamura M .Differences in self-reported oral health behavior between dental students and dental technology/dental hygiene students in Jordan. J Oral Sci 2004;46:191-197.
  • 14 Petersen PE, Peng B, Tai B, Bian Z, Fan M. Effect of a school-based oral health education programme in Wuhan City, Peoples’ Republic of China. Int Dent J 2004;54:33-41.
  • 15 Kawamura M, Honkala E, Widström E, Komabayashi T. Cross-cultural differences of self-reported oral health behaviour in Japanese and Finnish dental students. Int Dent J 2000;50:46-50.
  • 16 Khami MR, Virtanem JI, Jafarian M, Murtomaa H. Prevention- oriented practice of Iranian senior dental students. Eur J Dental Educ 2007;11:48-53.
  • 17 Neeraja R, Kayalvizhi G, Sangeeta P. Oral health attitudes and behaviour among a group of dental students in Bangalore, India. Eur J Dent 2011;5:163-167.
  • 18 Bakdash M B, Proshek JM. Oral hygiene status of dental students as related to their personal and academic profiles. J Periodontal Res1979;14:438-443.