Prevalence and factors associated with dental caries among children aged 12 years in district Bannu-Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Epidemiology & Biostatistics (MSc Epidemiology & Biostats)


Community Health Sciences


Dental caries or tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic infectious diseases in the world. In term of money it is a major public health problem for a significant proportion of the population. Apart from the teeth loss it is also a potential hazard for causation of cardiac and renal disease. Caries pattern is in transition; in developing countries its prevalence is increasing while in the developed countries it is constantly decreasing. In Pakistan an alarming number of people have this chronic problem. According to World Health Organization (WHO) report, in Pakistan 80 % people of age group 35-44 years are affected by dental caries. Among others one of WHO goal is that at 12 years of age the global average should not be more than 3 decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT). To achieve this goal WHO has chosen 12 years age group as the global monitoring age for caries. In Pakistan nowhere, a community-based study, of this age group has been reported. To assess prevalence and to identify factors associated with dental caries among 12 years old children we conducted a cross sectional study in District Bannu. We examined 623 [324 (52%) boys and 299(48%) girls] children and their DMFT score was recorded. Through pretested questionnaire, information about their age, gender, dietary habits, family income and knowledge attitude & practice of oral hygiene was taken. Drinking water fluoride level was measured by testing the water sample in a government laboratory at Islamabad. DMFT score was dichotomized and data analysis was done using Logistic Regression on SPSS-10 and SAS 6.12 software. Among 'affected', 144(53%) were girls and 127(47%) were boys and 569 (91%) of the affective were from rural and 54 (9%) were from urban area. Over all mean DMFT was 0.78 (0/3, 0.83) while for boys it was 0.70 (0.64, 0.76) and for girls it was 0.87(0.80, 0.93). Mean DMFT for rural area was 0.8 (0.75, 0.85) and for urban area it was 0.67 (0.59, 0.74). In multivariate analysis water fluoride level, family history, sweet intake, monthly income and cleansing method were found significant while adjusting for the other variables. Low income, water fluoride level > 0.7 PPM and use of toothbrush showed protective effect. No significant difference was found between miswak and toothbrush. Recommendations: Drinking water supply should be tested for their fluoride concentration, if found below optimal level should be fluoridated. Miswak as an alternate method, for those who cannot afford toothbrush and toothpaste should be highlighted and propagated. More studies on different versions of miswak and its effective use are recommended.

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