OBJECTIVE: To assess self-reported oral health perceptions and associated factors in an adult Somali population living in Minnesota, USA. METHODS: We analysed data from a cross-sectional study of Somali adults aged 18 to 65+ years attending a dental school clinic for care. A comprehensive oral examination was performed by the dental school outreach team on all patients who attended a 2-week designated Somali dental clinic. Adults who consented were given an oral health questionnaire to collect information on sociodemographics, marital status, language preference and self-rated oral and general health. We performed summary statistics and differences between proportions using Fisher's exact test and a comparison of means using one-way anova or a two-sample t-test. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 53 adults, 75% of whom were females. About 49% of subjects reported poor/fair oral health and 38% reported poor/fair general health. Seventy-four percent rated their access to dental care as poor/fair and 83% reported that they did not have a regular source of dental care. Self-rated oral health was significantly associated with marital status (P < 0.05) and self-rated general health (P < 0.01) using Fisher's exact test. CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of Somali adults rated their oral health and access to dental care as poor/fair. These findings suggest that this population would benefit from improved access to oral health care and culturally appropriate oral health education and promotion programs.