Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry                           
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 224--226

Prevalence of dental caries and treatment needs in the rural child population of Nainital District, Uttaranchal


H Grewal, M Verma, A Kumar 
 Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
A Kumar
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, BSZ Marg, MAMC Complex, New Delhi-110 002
India

Abstract

Dental caries is a rapidly emerging oral health problem amongst the children of India. Its incidence in different states varies between 31 and 89%. This study was undertaken with a twin objective of assessing the prevalence of dental caries in parts of Uttaranchal state and designing the interventional strategies with a view to attend the oral health care needs of children. A total of 722 school children in the age range of 7-12 years of Nainital district were examined using WHO (1997) criteria. An overall caries prevalence of 77.7% was recorded, which is 67.26% in the age group of 7-9 years and 80.86% in 10-12 years with DMFT+deft of 1.97 and 2.61, respectively. It was observed that there were greater treatment needs in older age group. Another significant finding of the study was that the 59.96% required restorative treatment out of the various dental treatment needs evaluated.



How to cite this article:
Grewal H, Verma M, Kumar A. Prevalence of dental caries and treatment needs in the rural child population of Nainital District, Uttaranchal.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2009;27:224-226


How to cite this URL:
Grewal H, Verma M, Kumar A. Prevalence of dental caries and treatment needs in the rural child population of Nainital District, Uttaranchal. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2009 [cited 2021 Mar 4 ];27:224-226
Available from: https://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2009/27/4/224/57657


Full Text

 Introduction



Dental caries is significant yet a preventable public health problem. It is the most common chronic disease of childhood that interferes with normal nutrition intake, speech, self-esteem and daily routine activities, because the caries pain adversely affects the normal food intake. This results in underweight children with abnormal cognitive development.

Only sporadic data are available on the oral health conditions in different states, particularly the rural areas of India. However, from the available studies, it can be estimated that a large range of population, from 31.5 to 89%, is affected by dental caries in different parts of the country. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7] According to National Oral Health Survey [8] caries prevalence in India was 51.9, 53.8 and 63.1% at ages 5, 12 and 15 years, respectively. In the absence of baseline data, the exact magnitude of the oral health problems is seldom recognized in India; as a result oral health always remains a low priority area in the government programs.

In Uttaranchal state, no systematic assessment on the prevalence of dental caries is available, especially in the rural hilly area where awareness and oral health facilities are almost negligible. In an attempt to fill this gap in the database, a study was conducted in rural area of Uttaranchal state, which is a newly formed state of India having a population of 8.5 millions. The state is divided into 13 districts, 49 tehsils and 95 blocks and has 16414 villages. About 78% of the population lives in the rural areas. Around 36% of the total population is younger than 15 years. The overall literacy rate is 72%. The Dentist : Population ratio is 1 : 1 97 199.

A systematic survey was conducted to comprehensively know the distribution of oral diseases in the rural children so as to assess the prevalence and severity of problems and to identify the treatment needs required in the area.

 Materials and Methods



The study was carried out in Nainital district of Uttaranchal state after obtaining necessary permission from the State Government authorities. Five villages were selected at random. In each selected village, from the sampling frame of primary schools, five schools were selected. A total of 722 children in the age groups of 7-9 and 10-12 years were examined with the consent of teachers and parents. Among them, 418 were boys and 304 were girls. The children were examined in their respective schools seated on an ordinary chair, in broad day light facing away from direct sunlight using WHO (1997) criteria. All examinations were carried out by single qualified examiner. The distribution of sample is detailed in [Table 1].

The data was compiled and analyzed at Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New Delhi, India.

 Results



The overall prevalence of dental caries in the sample was 77.7% of the total sample population. It was found that 10-12 years age group had 80.9% spread of caries as compared to 67.26% in the 7-9 years age group [Table 2]. The DMFT+deft was 2.61 in the older group and 1.97 in younger group [Table 3].

Further, it was observed that a total of 79.08% children required dental intervention. Out of which, 55.95% children required one-surface filling, fissure sealants (33.30%), extraction (16.34%), preventive care (6.37%), pulp care (3.32%), two-surface filling (4.01%) and crown (0.55%) [Table 4].

 Discussion



The high caries prevalence of 77.7% in the school children of Nainital indicates the enormity of oral health problems in the rural areas of Nainital. If remained unattended and untreated, the percentage is likely to increase in future. The data reflects on the poor hygiene, low awareness about the oral health. It is further observed that the incidence of caries increases with age as observed by Dash et al, [5] Dhar et al, [6] Saravanan et al[7] and Goyal et al. [9] Higher DMFT+deft in the age group of 10-12 years appears to be due to increased exposure of the susceptible tooth to poor oral hygiene conditions, because dental caries is a continuous and cumulative process. Dental caries is a worldwide problem associated with plaque, microorganisms and the intake of refined carbohydrates. There has been a gradual increase in tooth decay in developing countries as a result of changes in the dietary pattern and lifestyle. The intra-analysis of DMFT+deft showed more than 80% of D+d component, which shows lack of awareness and access to dental facilities available.

Higher treatment needs were found amongst the children in the age group of 10-12 years than age group of 7-9 years, mainly because of one-surface filling and fissure sealant need as reported by Dash et al[5] and Dhar et al. [6] From generated data, it could be assumed that the higher population older than 12 years may be much more severely affected by dental caries and related oral problems. This overview points towards developing immediate and effective oral health promotional and interventional strategies to combat the disease on regional scale.

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