Aim and objective: This study aimed to investigate the association of oral health by body mass index (BMI) among schoolchildren of Kosovo.
Materials and methods: A comparative-descriptive study was conducted using a sample of 270 children of age group 12–14 years, of both genders, who were selected from various schools along with Kosovo. A questionnaire was used to obtain information on children\'s demographic characteristics, oral hygiene practices, and dietary habits. Their parental education levels, family incomes, and leisure time activities were also obtained by questionnaire at recruitment. Clinical outcomes were assessed according to the Decayed/Missing/Filled Teeth (DMFT) index and the oral hygiene index-simplified (OHI-S). Adjusted for age, gender, height, and weight, BMI-age percentiles were calculated using the BMI Percentile Calculator for Child and Teen, and children were classified as underweight, normal, overweight, and obese considering age and sex. In the statistical analysis, differences between categorical variables were tested with the Chi-square test (χ2) and contingency tables.
Results: Caries was present in 47.4% of children. A maximum number of caries affected children belonged to the healthy weight and obesity group, followed by overweight, and the least number was underweight (p < 0.003). We found a significant difference between DMFT (p < 0.02) and OHI-S values (p < 0.002) and BMI-age percentiles subgroups.
Conclusion: The results show a difference in outcomes between DMFT and OHI-S values among BMI-age percentiles subgroups in schoolchildren. Children aged 12 years, from the obese category, had more cases with higher DMFT (significant difference p < 0.003), and also more cases with the high OHI-S value were detected among children from the obesity subgroup (p < 0.002).
Clinical significance: Obesity, oral health, and dental caries have common risk determinants and require a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to children by both medical and dental healthcare professionals.
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