September 2022

Volume 39, Issue 3

Oral health status and absence from school among 12 year olds

Authors: Abhinav Singh Bharathi M. Purohit Abhishek Purohit Saumya Taneja Nilima
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00280Singh06

Abstract

Objective: To assess dental caries, periodontal status, malocclusion and absenteeism from school among 12-year-olds in Bhopal district, Central India. Materials and Methods: Two-stage random sample of 1238 school children. Decayed missing filled teeth (DMFT), Significant caries index (SiC), community periodontal index (CPI) and dental aesthetic index (DAI) were used to record dental caries, periodontal status and malocclusion. Information on absence from school in the previous year due to pain/discomfort in the teeth or mouth was collected via interviews. Generalized structural equation modelling (GSEM) examined the direct and indirect predictors of absence from school. Results: A total of 39.1%, 17.3% and 23.9% of children had dental caries, calculus and gingival bleeding respectively. Mean DMFT and SiC scores were 1.82 ± 1.36 and 3.15 ± 1.47. 5,127 school hours were missed due to oral health problems per 1,000 children. None of the studied variables predicted absence from school. Utilization of dental care was associated directly with gender and malocclusion (p< 0.001). Periodontal status was associated with male gender, nuclear families, tobacco consumption, and malocclusion (p< 0.001). Higher DMFT was associated with male gender, malocclusion and experience of pain/discomfort (p< 0.001). Conclusions: Poor oral health and a high prevalence of untreated dental caries were noted. Despite a considerable number of missed school hours reported due to dental conditions, none of the studied variables predicted absence from school. Keywords: health promotion, oral health, school health, school absence, access to health care

£10 single article

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