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VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 5 ( September-October, 2017 ) > List of Articles


Oral Health Morbidities and Unmet Needs in seeking Dental Health Care among Schoolchildren from a Low Socioeconomic Locality in Mumbai, India

Acharya Shrikala, Pai Nanda, Vaghela Jinal, Mankar Shubhangi

Citation Information : Shrikala A, Nanda P, Jinal V, Shubhangi M. Oral Health Morbidities and Unmet Needs in seeking Dental Health Care among Schoolchildren from a Low Socioeconomic Locality in Mumbai, India. World J Dent 2017; 8 (5):374-377.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1468

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Published Online: 00-00-0000


Introduction: Children with dental problems are 12 times more likely to have restricted activity days.1 More than 50 million school hours are lost annually because of oral health problems, which affect children’s performance at school and success in later life. In a metropolitan city like Mumbai, no systematic assessment on the oral health problems is available, especially among children belonging to low socioeconomic class studying in municipal schools. Hence, the current study was planned among the children studying in V to VII standards in suburban municipal school and predominantly from a low socioeconomic area, located in the field practice area of a teaching medical college. Materials and methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted among 299 schoolchildren aged 9 to 13 years using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire and clinical oral examination to assess their oral health morbidities, healthseeking behavior, and need for dental interventions. Results: About 78.3% children were found with dental caries and 61.2% children were suffering from bleeding and inflamed gums; 19.4% children required extraction and 41.5% required extraction and restoration. However, dental services were availed by only 13.6% of the children. Conclusion: Sustained advocacy and regular dental outreach programs are needed among parents, teachers, and schoolchildren for early diagnosis and management of oral morbidities. Clinical significance: Oral health and people’s behavior are largely determined by the socioeconomic milieu and the conditions in which they live. Therefore, treatment for all common oral health problems is not feasible due to limited resources. As rightly said, prevention is better than cure, and oral health awareness education of the public and schoolchildren at large can make a huge difference.

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