Aim: To assess the oral health status and oral hygiene of mentally subnormal population of Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 300 mentally sub-normal people of Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All the subjects who were willing to participate and were suffering from mental retardation were included in the study. Those subjects with any other medical ailment such as epilepsy, and those having any physical disability were excluded from the study. All the subjects were examined by the investigator for dental caries experience using dental caries experience using (DMFT) (WHO 1997), type of Angle\'s molar relation was recorded on a recording proforma for all the study participants. Subjects\' plaque score was assessed using Silness P. and Loe H. Plaque Index (1964).
Results: The overall prevalence of dental caries (D) found in the present study was 82.6%. On comparing the mean DMFT scores based on different plaque scores, it was found that the subjects with plaque score as 3 had the highest mean DMFT (5.5376 ± 3.02367); those subjects with least plaque score (1) had mean DMFT of 3.9677 ± 2.31862 while those subjects with no plaque had the least mean DMFT (1.9375 ± 2.01506). A statistically significant (p = 0.000) difference was found between the mean plaque scores when compared on the basis of brushing frequency.
Conclusion: It was concluded that the oral health status of the mentally subnormal study population was poor with increased mean plaque scores indicating the neglect of oral hygiene maintenance and dental care and treatment by the study population.
Clinical significance: Oral health of mentally disabled persons is deteriorated owing to various reasons such as social, economic, behavioral factors, the effect of medicines and also difficulty faced by caregivers in providing oral health care including oral hygiene methods. In order to appropriately explore ways and methods for adequately reducing the disease burden on the populace, dentists essentially need to know the oral health status of disabled section thereof.
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