Correlation of decayed, missing and filled teeth with risk factors for dental caries in children attending outpatient department in tertiary care hospital

V. Arunagirinathan, P. Venkatesh


Background: Oral health is of vital importance to humans’ general health. Despite the marked improvement in oral health, caries occurs in both developed and developing countries worldwide. The patient’s age is important for determining caries risk. Special attention must be paid to children’s oral health when deciduous teeth start erupting and occlusion has formed in 2 to 3-year-old children. To assess the correlation of decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft/DMFT) with risk factors for dental caries in children and with knowledge, attitude, and practices of parents regarding dental caries.

Methods: Cross-sectional study included 96 children with dental caries attending paediatric outpatient department of Government Stanley Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India between 2018 March to November. Clinical evaluation, dmft score, and knowledge, attitude and practices of parents were assessed using pre-formed questionnaire.

Results: Patients with high dmft score were found to have low practice score with the Pearson correlation coefficient(r) value -0.41 and P value was 0.01. Corresponding values of knowledge and attitude were not statistically significant. Children who nap/sleep with bottle/pacifier have increased risk (P value-0.01).

Conclusions: An oral health risk assessment should be done periodically by Paediatrician who has regular contact with children for early identification of dental caries, to impart healthy oral practices and make them aware of preventive measures.


Caries intensity index, DT-carious teeth, Missed teeth, International association of dental research DMFT

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