Is religiosity related to periodontal health among the adult Jewish population in Jerusalem?

A. Zini*, H. D. Sgan-Cohen, W. Marcenes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Religiosity may be a relevant protective factor for periodontitis, as it is for other chronic systemic diseases. The objective of the present study was to assess the relationship between periodontitis and religiosity, and whether oral health-related behaviours, spirituality and social support are included in the potential pathways that explain the association between religiosity and periodontitis. Material and Methods: Cross-sectional data were part of a retrospective study. The stratified random-sampling technique was limited to the Jerusalem Jewish population. Conceptual hierarchical data analysis modelling was adopted, assuming that socio-economic position was the most distal determinant, age and gender were confounders, and social support, spirituality and oral health behaviours were mediators in the relationship between religiosity and periodontitis. Results: Kappa intra-examiner values (0.89) were satisfactory. Response rate was 88.0%. The final sample included 123 men and 125 women. The mean age was 38.6years (SD 3.25years), with 33.9% declared to be 'orthodox', 33.1%'religious' and 33.1%'secular'. Higher levels of religiosity (p=0.01), support of internal life through spirituality (p=0.03), higher family social support (p=0.02) and low levels of plaque (p=0.05) were related to lower levels of periodontitis. Religiosity led to higher family social support and support of internal life through spirituality, which was related to plaque level and periodontitis. Conclusion: Religiosity had a protective effect against periodontitis through extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. This should be considered as part of aetiology and prognosis, in potential prevention and care of periodontitis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)418-425
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Community Periodontal Index
  • Oral health behaviour
  • Periodontal status
  • Religiosity
  • Social support
  • Spirituality


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