Correlation between Nutritional Status and Dental Caries in 3–18-year-old Indian School-going Children: A Cross-sectional Study
Pratik B Kariya, Sweta Singh
Body mass index, Dental caries, Nutritional status
Citation Information :
Kariya PB, Singh S. Correlation between Nutritional Status and Dental Caries in 3–18-year-old Indian School-going Children: A Cross-sectional Study. World J Dent 2022; 13 (S2):S189-S193.
Aim: This study aimed to examine the prevalence of dental caries and its correlation with nutritional status in 3–18-year olds.
Materials and methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted among 3–18-year olds from public schools in a rural district in India. A total of 829 subjects from 29 schools participated in the study. The body mass index (BMI) was used to assess the nutritional status of participants. The anthropometric measurements for BMI were recorded within the school premises. The World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Standards Reference for BMI was used to categorize the participants into obese/overweight, normal, or underweight for age. Dental caries was assessed using decayed, missing, and filled primary teeth (DMFT) and decayed extracted filled teeth (deft) index. A parent-administered questionnaire was used to obtain data on oral hygiene practice, parental education, dental visits, and sugar exposure.
Results: The prevalence of dental caries was found to be 48.8%. A total of 54.6% of students were malnourished, and 47.7 % were underweight for their age. The nutritional status was found to be inversely related to dental caries. The children with higher BMI (obese and overweight) were likely to have less caries experience.
Conclusion: Nutritional status was found to be inversely related to dental caries. Children with lesser BMI were at higher risk of having dental caries and vice versa.
Clinical significance: Dental caries and nutritional status have common risk factors. Diet is the major risk factor, common to both conditions. Diet is a modifiable risk factor. Therefore, strategies can be developed and targeted at the prevention of both dental caries, and malnutrition in the community. Healthy dietary habits and practices can be promoted for the control of dental caries and malnutrition.
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