Dental Fluorosis, Caries Experience And Snack Intake Of 13-15 Year Olds In Kenya

M. Makhanu, G. Opinya, R.J. Mutave


Objectives: To determine the dental caries experience in relation to the severity ofdental fluorosis and; to evaluate the dietary snacking habits of adolescents.

Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study.

Setting: A peri-urban primary school in Nairobi, Kenya.

Subjects: Two hundred and seventy five adolescents aged 13-15 years among whom128 were males and 149 were females.

Results: Two hundred and seventy five adolescents were examined for varying degreesof dental fluorosis according to the Thylystrup Fejerskov Index (TFI) scores and thedental caries was determined in the four first permanent molars. One hundred and fiveindividuals were found to have had a TFI score of zero with a corresponding decayedmissing and filled teeth (DMFT) for dental caries of 1.30±1.03 and 88(52%) individualshad mild to moderate severity of dental fluorosis (TF scores 1-4) and had a correspondingmean DMFT of 1.53±1.005 for dental caries. Furthermore, 82(48.2%) adolescents hadsevere degrees of dental fluorosis of TFI scores 5-9 and had a corresponding DMTFvalue of 1.85+1.24 for dental caries. When the prevalence of dental caries was comparedamong individuals with TFI scores zero (non-fIuorosed teeth) with those who hadfluorosed first permanent molars the Chi square test showed that there was a highstatistical significance with a p-value of 0.001 (P=0.005). Amongst the 175 adolescentswith varying degrees of severity of dental fluorosis it was noted that 44(26%) did notlike taking snacks and had a DMFT of 1.54+1:1.17whi1e 126(74%) adolescents whoenjoyed taking snacks had a DMFT of 1.64+1.08. However, there was no statisticalsignificance.

Conclusion: While there was a statistically significant association between the severityof dental fluorosis and caries experience among the participants in the present study,there was no co-relation between the caries experience and snacking habits amongthose who had varying degrees of dental fluorosis.

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