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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 541-547

Do children of working mothers experience more dental caries?


1 Department of Periodontics, Government Dental College, Kottayam, Kerala, India
2 Department of Orthodontics, Government Dental College, Kottayam, Kerala, India
3 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Government Dental College, Kottayam, Kerala, India
4 Director, Department of Medical Education, Kerala, India
5 Principal, PMS Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R M Baiju
Department of Periodontics, Government Dental College, Gandhi Nagar, Kottayam - 686 008, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ccd.ccd_682_18

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Background: Pain and discomfort due to untreated dental caries lead to eating and sleep disruptions, behavioral changes, and poor quality of life. Among adolescents, severe dental caries may lead to activity restriction, school absenteeism, and poor academic performance. Dietary factors, parent's socioeconomic status, and family income have been associated with dental caries experience. The employment status of the mother is a measure of socioeconomic status of the family. Aims: This study aims to estimate the prevalence of dental caries and to find out its sociodemographic, oral health behavioral, and clinical determinants among older adolescent (15–18 years) students in Kerala. Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at higher secondary schools. Methods: Oral examination and sociodemographic and oral health behavioral data collection were done among 1065 older adolescent students in the age group 15–18 across five districts of Kerala by a multistage cluster sampling design. Decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) and Significant Caries (SiC) index were taken. Statistical Analysis Used: SPSS version 16 software was employed. Multiple regression analysis was done to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) of predictors of dental caries experience. Results: The overall dental caries experience for the group was 59.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 56.9–62.7). About 40% of students had no caries experience, 43% had DMFT score 1–3, and only 16.8% had DMFT score 4 and more. Mean DMFT was 1.67 (95% CI: 1.56–1.79). Diet preference, timing of sugar intake, and sugar form were not significantly associated with caries. Mean SiC index was 3.90 (95% CI, 3.75–4.05). In the unadjusted analysis, age, gender, place of residence, mother's employment status, school type, frequency of sugar intake, oral hygiene status, and timing of last dental visit were significant. In the adjusted analysis, however, age, male gender, government schools, timing of last dental visit, and employed mothers were significant predictors for higher dental caries experience. Conclusions: Mother's employment was the strongest predictor (OR 2.82, 95% CI: 2.15–3.69) for dental caries experience among adolescents when adjusted to other variables in the final multivariate model.


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