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The Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey (SAOHS) 2015/6

Today the Information Services Division (ISD) of National Services Scotland published the data from The Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey (SAOHS.)

The SAOHS was carried out as a pilot project in 2015/16 with the support and approval of the Scottish Dental Epidemiology Co-ordinating Committee (SDECC). The principal aim of this pilot project was to assess the feasibility of conducting a survey of adult oral health across Scotland, within an age defined group of people attending dental primary care for an examination appointment.

Prior to this report, the most recent epidemiological survey which included a professional oral examination of the oral health of Scotland’s adult population was carried out as part of the 1998 UK Adult Dental Health Survey (ADHS).

Main Points

  • This pilot study has shown that collecting survey data in relation to oral health and behaviours of patients aged 45 years and over as part of a dental examination is feasible.
  • In this pilot survey of 1,867 patients seen by 92 dentists, 96% of adults aged 45 years and over who attended primary dental care for an examination had at least one natural tooth.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of those with at least one natural tooth had a functional dentition: having enough teeth for general oral function, including being able to eat comfortably.
  • Older patients and those living in the more deprived areas of Scotland were less likely to have a functional dentition. In other words, they did not have enough teeth for general oral function such as eating comfortably.
  • Adults living in the most deprived areas were more likely to smoke cigarettes in this pilot study. There was a higher level of gum disease recorded for those adults who smoke cigarettes compared to those who do not.
  • This pilot will inform the future collection of adult oral health data in Scotland.




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