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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-53

Dental caries prevalence and treatment needs of school going children in Kannur District, Kerala


Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Kannur Dental College, Kannur, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication22-Oct-2013

Correspondence Address:
Faizal C Peedikayil
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Kannur Dental College, Kannur, Kerala
India
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DOI: 10.4103/0976-433X.120177

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  Abstract 

Background: An epidemiological investigation was carried out to know the prevalence of Dental Caries amongst schoolchildren in Kannur District, Kerala. Materials and Methods: The criteria used for diagnosing caries were according to the World Health Organizations (1997). All data were entered into the SPSS program and subjected to statistical analysis. Results: The point prevalence of dental caries was recorded to be 49.44% with an average DMFT/deft of 2.63. The prevalence of caries showed a pattern of occurrence consistently increased from 5-7 years to 8-10 years age group and subsequently decreased at 11-14 years age. Regarding treatment needs, 66.19% children required dental treatment for dental caries. Conclusion: The study revealed that caries component of decayed, missing, filled/deft index was high at 90.01% indicating that many carious teeth were left untreated and this calls for concern.

Keywords: Caries prevalence, dental caries, school dental heath


How to cite this article:
Peedikayil FC, Kottayi S, Kenchamba V, Jumana M K. Dental caries prevalence and treatment needs of school going children in Kannur District, Kerala. SRM J Res Dent Sci 2013;4:51-3

How to cite this URL:
Peedikayil FC, Kottayi S, Kenchamba V, Jumana M K. Dental caries prevalence and treatment needs of school going children in Kannur District, Kerala. SRM J Res Dent Sci [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Nov 22];4:51-3. Available from: http://www.srmjrds.in/text.asp?2013/4/2/51/120177


  Introduction Top


Dental caries is a major health problem with high prevalence, globally involving the people of all regions and society. The prevalence of these diseases is continuously increasing with change in dietary habit of peoples and increased consumption of sugar and its related products. [1],[2] This disease not only causes damage to the tooth, but is also responsible for several morbid conditions of the oral cavity and other systems of the body. [1] Caries is multi factorial in nature, with various risk factors contributing to its occurrence, including age, sex, diet and socio-economic factors. [2],[3] The scenario in India is no different from other developing countries. Available literature about the prevalence of dental caries in India shows a varied picture, i.e., caries being very high in some areas and low in other areas. [3],[4],[5],[6],[7] Oral health surveys help to detect the population's oral health status providing baseline information. This helps health policy makers and administrators to establish the oral health plans on the actual need of their population. [8]

This survey was conducted on school children of various educational stages in Kannur District in Kerala state, India. Kannur is one of the largest Districts of Kerala with the population of more than 25 lakhs (2011 Census) and literacy rate of about 95%. No caries prevalence studies were carried out in Kannur children in the past. This study was conducted on 2930 school children of Kannur District in the age group of 5-14 years for recording the prevalence of dental caries and treatment needs. Dental caries was found in 49.44% children and 76.87% children required some kind of dental treatment.


  Materials and Methods Top


This study was carried out by Pediatric Dentistry Department, Kannur Dental College. The study was conducted on 2930 school-going children over a time span of one academic year (June 2010-March 2011) involving a total of 10 schools in the rural region. Prior permission was taken from the schools for the survey. The criteria used for diagnosing caries were according to the World Health Organizations (WHO 1997). The dental examination was carried out by the trained examiners reaching to acceptably uniform diagnosis. The examination were carried out in classrooms and performed under fluorescent torch light with the patient sitting in the upright chair. The decayed, missing, filled teeth (DMFT) for permanent teeth and decayed, extracted and filled for primary teeth (deft) were checked and recorded. The treatment needs were determined using codes and criteria as described by the WHO. The data were summarized and described using relative frequencies and percentages for categorical variables such as the presence of carious teeth and means for DMFT/deft scores. When the outcome variables were categorical, Chi-squared and t-test was used to examine the differences by gender and age for statistical significance. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software (version 16) for windows. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.


  Results Top


A total of 2930 children were examined, out of which 1452 were boys 1478 were girls. Among them, 654, 1315 and 961 children belonged to the age groups of 5-7, 8-10 and 11-14 years, respectively [Table 1].
Table 1: Demographics of study subjects

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The overall prevalence of dental caries was 49.44%. Caries prevalence in the age group 5-7, 8-10 and 11-14 years were 40.06% (DMFT/deft = 2.16), 54.29% (DMFT/deft = 3.38) and 49.11% (DMFT/deft = 2.07), respectively. The difference between the age groups of 5-7 years and 8-10 years was highly significant, whereas the difference between the groups of 8-10 years and 11-14 years was not significant. The difference between the groups of 5-7 years and 11-14 years was also highly significant [Table 2].
Table 2: Comparison of caries prevalence in different age group and gender

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The caries prevalence of boys was 51.79% (DMFT/deft 2.74) and that of girls was 47.09% (DMFT/deft 2.57) and the difference was found to be insignificant [Table 2] and [Table 3]. Decayed teeth and missing tooth components in DMFT/deft shows an increase during the mixed dentition period and decreased with advancing age while that of filled teeth increased with advancing age. The DMFT/deft components did not show a significant difference between both sexes. The average decayed component (D + d) is at 90.01% [Table 3].
Table 3: Decayed, missing filled tooth components in different age groups and gender

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A total of 66.19% teeth required treatment, out of which 67.43% were for boys and 64.19% were for girls and the difference was not significant. In the age groups of 5-7, 8-10 and 11-14 years, the children who required treatment were 83.38%, 69.61% and 47.58% respectively. The difference between age groups I, II and III were highly significant [Table 4].
Table 4: Dental treatment needs in different age groups

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Among the different types of treatment required, there was no statistical difference between boys and girls; however, the difference between the age groups was significantly high. More cases were observed with the requirement of one surface fillings followed by sealant care, other care, two or more surface fillings, extractions, crowns and pulp care in that order.


  Discussion Top


The present study was carried out to determine the prevalence of dental caries in school going children of Kannur. The overall caries prevalence was found to be 49.11%. With age groups 5-7, 8-10, 11-14 were showing prevalence of 40.06%, 54% and 49.11% respectively. Other studies reported from other parts of India have prevalence of 30% to 95%. [3],[4],[5],[6],[7] The reason for the prevalence of dental caries being more at 8-10 years of age compared to that of 5-7 years can be attributed to the fact that caries being a continuous and cumulative process had obviously increased with a span of 3 years. The first permanent molar also (6 years molar) have been at risk for 2 years sufficient for caries to set in. The fall in point of prevalence at 10-14 years age is understandable, because most of the deciduous teeth have been exfoliated and succedaneous premolar have not been in the oral cavity long enough for caries process to set in. Other possible reason for this can be explained by the fact that the new carious lesion appearing at the age of 11 years be compensated by the exfoliation of deciduous molar. The result of the present study is in concurrence with Dash et al. [9] and Sahoo et al. [10] In the present study, no significant difference was recorded in caries prevalence among boys and girls as recorded by Bauba et al. [11]

Higher DMFT was found in the age group of 8-10 years; this could be explained on the basis of increased exposure of the teeth to poor oral hygiene conditions in comparison to that of the age group of 5-7, years but DMFT was lesser in the age group of 11-14 years due to the presence of newly erupted permanent teeth. Similarly, trend was reported by Sudha et al. [5]

The decay component of decayed, missing, filled (DMF)/deft is high at 90.01% indicating that many carious teeth were left untreated and is a cause for concern. Similarly, results were reported by Singh et al. [12]

Among the different age groups, higher treatment needs was found among children in the age group of 5-7 years; this was mainly because of the higher need of a single surface fillings in the occlusal surfaces and sealants due to newly erupted permanent molars and boys had higher treatment needs in comparison to girls, but was statistically not significant. There was high need for other care, which mainly included other restorative procedures.


  Conclusion Top


The study highlighted the extent of dental disease in this community. The study revealed that caries component of DMF/deft index was high at 90.01% indicating that many carious teeth were left untreated.

Other key points of this study,

  • About 50% of school children in this study are having dental caries, which denotes high prevalence.
  • High treatment needs in younger age group shows poor caries preventive knowledge among the parents.
  • Preventive education and programs has to be implemented at school level.
  • Oral health education for school teachers is to be instituted for effective knowledge transfer.
Reduction of high caries levels can only be achieved by a preventive and oral hygiene promotion program; therefore, there is a great need to change from restorative-oriented dental services to preventive-oriented dental services and school dental health education programs for children in order to improve the oral health status of this population.

 
  References Top

1.Holm AK. Caries in the preschool child: International trends. J Dent 1990;18:291-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Ismail AI, Hasson H, Sohn W. Dental caries in the second millennium. J Dent Educ 2001;65:953-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Shourie KL. A dental survey in Ajmer merwara. Indian J Med Res 1947;35:215-25.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Retnakumari N. Prevalence of dental caries and risk assessment among primary school children of 6-12 years in the Varkala municipal area of Kerala. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 1999;17:135-42.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
5.Sudha P, Bhasin S, Anegundi RT. Prevalence of dental caries among 5-13-year-old children of Mangalore city. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2005;23:74-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
6.Jose A, Joseph MR. Prevalence of dental health problems among school going children in rural Kerala. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2003;21:147-51.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
7.Dhar V, Bhatnagar M. Dental caries and treatment needs of children (6-10 years) in rural Udaipur, Rajasthan. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:256-60.  Back to cited text no. 7
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
8.World Health Organization. Oral Health Survey, Basic Methods. 4 th ed. Geneva: WHO; 1999.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Dash JK, Sahoo PK, Bhuyan SK, Sahoo SK. Prevalence of dental caries and treatment needs among children of Cuttack (Orissa). J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2002;20:139-43.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]    
10.Sahoo PK, Tewari A, Chawla HS, Sachdev V. Intercomparison of prevalence and severity of dental caries using two recording systems. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 1991;8:1-11.  Back to cited text no. 10
[PUBMED]    
11.Bauba K, Tewari A, Chawla HS. Frequency distribution of children according to dental caries status in rural areas of northern India (Punjab). J Indian Dent Assoc 1986;58:505-12.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Singh S, Kaur G, Kapila VK. Dental disorders in primary school children of Faridkot city. J Indian Dent Assoc 1985;57:304-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]


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