THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS’ ORAL HEALTH KNOWLEDGE

Introduction: Given the need to address the important oral health issues that impact the individual’s overall health and that are affecting significantly Universidad Veracruzana students, it is therefore necessary to develop a research which allows to know the real situation of the undergraduate students’ community, regarding their oral health knowledge so specific prevention and care programs can be implemented.
Those oral health issues problems go from poor oral hygiene to the lack of information regarding the most common oral diseases and their impact on overall health. Developing from mild to severe caries problems and periodontal disease, in addition to the presence of malocclusions and bruxism which impact oral and mental health, the Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO, 1998) reports that the health of young people (15 to 24 years old) is a key element to social, economic and political progress of all the countries of Latin America. Prevention programs and health promotion applied to young people have a low-cost compared to what would result from a not promptly treated oral health problem when they initiate or to prevent them before presenting symptoms.
Objective. Determine the level of knowledge on oral health in students of third semester of Communications degree from Universidad Veracruzana.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional, and quantitative study was conducted on students from the Universidad Veracruzana. The instrument used for the research is entitled "Level of knowledge on oral health in Universidad Veracruzana students". This survey consists of 27 questions licker type. A database was used in the program IBM SPSS statistics, version 17 for Windows.
Results. 42% of respondents were male and 45% were female both between the ages of 19 and 20 years old. Regarding the level of knowledge about the importance of tooth brushing, 38% of male candidates and 55% of the female candidates consider it important. An average percentage of oral hygiene knowledge was obtained.
Conclusions. The aim of all dentist should be to help individuals achieving and maintaining maximum oral health throughout all their life and to promote prevention.
Recommendations. The prevention of oral diseases and promotion of oral health were included as the main components in undergraduate students. In addition, constant campaigns were implemented to provide guidance regarding prompt attention in oral diseases due to their impact on the overall health of our country’s upcoming economically active population in the near future.