WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 330-338

Oral health status of 12-year-old children with disabilities and controls in Southern India

1 Assistant Professor - Department of Public Health Dentistry, People's College of Dental Sciences & Research Centre, Bhopal –, India
2 Assistant Professor - Department of Public Health Dentistry, ESIC Dental College & Hospital, Rohini – New Delhi Under Central Ministry of Labour & Employment - Government of India

Correspondence Address:
Bharathi M Purohit
Assistant Professor - Department of Public Health Dentistry, People's College of Dental Sciences & Research Centre, Bhopal –
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.207029

PMID: 28615559

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Background: This study explores the association of disabilities and oral health. The aim of the study was to compare and assess oral health status of 12-year-old children with disabilities with healthy controls in Karnataka, Southern India. Methods: A total of 191 schoolchildren with disabilities were examined from 12-year age group. For comparison, 203 healthy children were randomly selected from other government schools. Clinical data were collected on periodontal status, dental caries, treatment needs and dental malocclusion using WHO criteria. A chi-squared test was used to compare between categorical variables. Linear and logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the importance of the factors associated with caries status. Results: Significant differences were noted in the frequency of sugar consumption between subjects with disabilities and their healthy controls. Subjects with disabilities had significantly higher CPI (community periodontal index) scores than their healthy counterparts (p<0.001). Dental caries was present in 89.8% children from special schools as compared with 58.6% from the control group. Mean DMFT (decayed, missing, filled teeth) values for special school children and healthy controls were 2.52 ± 2.61 and 0.61 ± 1.12, respectively. Higher prevalence of malocclusion was seen in subjects with special healthcare needs, with 66.4% having definite malocclusion and 17.4% of controls having malocclusion (p<0.001). The mean values for treatment needs were higher in subjects with disabilities. Regression analysis showed that, type of school, male gender, low frequency of brushing, increased frequency of sugar consumption between meals and dental malocclusion were significantly related to dental caries. Conclusion: Poor oral health of children with disabilities as compared with their healthy controls in terms of periodontal status, dentition status, treatment needs, and dentofacial anomalies was found in our study, which confirms a need for preventive treatment for these children.

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