Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Susan J. Daniel

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Patrick Sachs


Purpose: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic genetic disorder that an individual has at birth. Cystic fibrosis impacts equally all races, gender and becomes worse over time. The aim of this current study was to evaluate oral health status, interaction with the oral health system, and oral health awareness in adults with cystic fibrosis. Methods: A validated survey consisting of 27 questions was distributed online through cystic fibrosis Facebook pages. Individuals with CF who were 18 years old or older, residing in the U.S. and having English as their primary language were asked to respond to the survey. Independent variables were demographic categories, whereas the dependent variables were oral health assessment, interaction with the oral health system, and oral health awareness. Results: Out of 350 sample sizes, a total of 133 responses were received; 87 met inclusion criteria. Respondents were 75% female, 50% were single, and 58.6% were employed. Seventy percent reported an annual household income more than $35,000. Good to very good conditions of the mouth and the teeth were reported by respondents with four-year college degree or higher. Married respondents were more likely to have dental insurance, visit a dental office and to have visited a dentist within 12 months. Female 33 and older scored higher on the oral health awareness scale than younger respondents. Conclusion: Although most respondents reported good or very good oral health, 52.7% reported dry mouth, 31% reported difficulty chewing food, and 29.1% reported seeing blood on their toothbrushes. Better oral health habits with additional education for CF adults are needed.


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