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Original Research

Prevalence of dental caries among school-going children in South India

Rajesh SS, Venkatesh P.

Background: Dental caries is the most prevalent disease among children in the global scenario. The prevalence pattern of dental caries varies not only with age, sex, socioeconomic status, race, geographical location, food habits, and oral hygiene practices but also within the oral cavity.

Objective: The objectives of this research are to study the prevalence of dental caries and to study the factors associating dental caries among school children in urban field practice area.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in government and private schools of Maralur, the field practice area of Sri Siddhartha Medical College Tumkur, on children studying in preschool to 10th standard. The data were compiled in an Excel worksheet, SPSS version 16.0 was used to analyze the data.

Result: A total of 417 students participated in the study. In our study, the prevalence of dental caries was 32.9%. It was observed that highest dental caries prevalence was in the age group of 6–10 years, that is, 49.7%. Analysis showed very high significant difference in the prevalence of dental caries among different age groups (P < 0.001). The prevalence of dental caries among females was 34% and among males was 31.8%.

Conclusion: The high prevalence rate shows further follow-up and also awareness among teachers, parents, and students regarding dental caries and dental hygiene is needed. Awareness among students can be generated by the school teachers because they are the role model for the students.

Key words: Prevalence, dental caries, chocolate consumption, diet, mother’s education

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