Distributive Patterns and Predictive Factors of Dental Caries in a Rural Local Council in Enugu State, Nigeria

Dental caries is the most prevalent oral disease of childhood; however, as an emerging public health issue and the critical study of the associated risk factors with tremendous clinical and public health implications among rural Nigerian children, the much needed attention has not been given to dental caries. This study was therefore designed to determine the prevalence of dental caries in secondary school children residing in the rural communities of Awgu North Local Government Area, Enugu, Nigeria, describing the distributive patterns and determining the risk factors associated with dental caries. The analysis, with descriptive cross-sectional design, is a quantitative form. 301 students who were 11-16 years of age were chosen using a stratified random sampling technique. The survey instrument is a pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire that was administered by qualified research assistants to all respondents. The participants were tested by two calibrated examiners. in type of incentives. EPI-INFO version 3.3.2 and PEPI version 11.0.0 were used to analyse the results. The results show that one hundred participants are males (33.2 percent) and 201 females (66.8 percent), with dental caries being 35.5 percent. Mean Missing and Filled Decayed Teeth (DMFT) was 0.85 ± 1.50. Girls at the age of 12 and 16 years had substantially higher Decayed Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT) than boys (P = 0.027 and P<0.0001 respectively). Students who used fluoridated toothpaste were found to have less cavities. Boys who brushed their teeth with chewing sticks had more caries than boys who used toothbrush and paste, as is usually seen in low resource countries. 53 (49.5 percent) of the dental caries were made up of the decayed portion, while only 3 (2.8 percent) of the caries were filled. Although the predominance of The level of caries observed in this study was low, but higher than the prevalence rates recorded in the urban areas of Enugu State , Nigeria, supporting the fact that the prevalence of carries differs greatly between countries and regions, within different population groups, as well as between urban and rural areas, just as many other diseases do. The results recorded in this study would serve as a prerequisite for future studies and could also serve as a reference for the preparation of an oral health programme for rural communities and a policy on oral and dental health for children.

Author (s) Details

Dr Linda Oge Okoye
Department of Restorative Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria.

Dr. Osa-Eloka Christiandolus Ekwueme
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria.

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