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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-16

Assessing dental caries and related factors in 12-year-old Nigerian school children: Report from a Southeastern State

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria
2 Department of Child Dental Health, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ezi Abigail Akaji
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejgd.ejgd_89_19

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Background/Aim: Dental caries is one of the most common diseases in the world and a common health problem among children. The aim of this study was to assess dental caries and related factors using the Decayed Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT), Significant Caries Index (SiC), Restorative and Met Need indices in 12-year-old schoolchildren in a Southeastern State of Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study of 360 twelve year old students selected by multistage sampling method from four schools in Enugu. Sociodemographic and behavioral data on dietary and oral health-care practices were collected using questionnaires, followed by an intraoral examination of each participant in accordance with the WHO criteria to determine their individual DMFT. Total and mean DMFT were obtained. SiC, Restorative Index (RI), and Met Need Index (MNI) were calculated. Data analysis was performed using the SPSS version 20. P ≤ 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Results: The prevalence of caries was 54.4%. Mean SiC/DMFT ratios of private and public school participants were 2.29/0.78 and 2.83/1.59, respectively. A zero RI and 0.02 MNI values were observed for all participants. Twelve (6.9%) public schoolchildren did not brush every day, although nearly 100% of them consumed cariogenic diet regularly. Conclusion: Despite low DMFT, number of teeth with untreated caries mirrored by zero RI and MNI values was high. Unhealthy dietary habits, suboptimal oral hygiene practices, and possibly lack of perception of gravity of caries were key influential factors. Efforts should be geared toward bridging these gaps through effective prevention program in schools.

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