Objective: To assess the dental caries experience, clinical consequences of untreated dental caries, and associated factors among 6-13 years school going children in Tiruvallur taluk of Tiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu.
Materials and Methods: The study population included a sample of 1,060 study subjects, aged 6-13 years from both government and private schools. The subjects were interviewed regarding oral hygiene practices, diet, dental visits, body mass index, income of the parents using a closed-ended questionnaire. Caries experience was assessed by recording the Pulpitis, Ulceration, Fistula, Abscess (DMFT)/dmft score and untreated carious lesion was assessed using Pulpitis, Ulceration, Fistula, Abscess (PUFA)/pufa index. Pearson's Chi-square test, independent sample t-test, Kendal tau correlation and binary logistic regression were performed to determine the relationship between DMFT, dmft, PUFA, pufa scores, and various independent factors.
Result: Among the study subjects, the mean DMFT and dmft scores were 0.12 ± 0.45 and 0.79 ± 0.15, respectively. The mean PUFA and pufa scores were 0.02 ± 0.150 and 0.14 ± 0.55, respectively. Subjects who never visited the dentist and who belonged to underweight group had significantly 2.2 times and 2.3 times, respectively, increased chances for caries experience in deciduous dentition. Subjects who never visited the dentist and who belong to underweight group had significantly 1.8 times and 1.7 times respectively, increased chances for odontogenic infection in deciduous dentition.
Conclusion: Dental caries experience and odontogenic infections were found to be higher in the primary dentition compared to permanent dentition. The habit of not visiting the dentist had increased the chances of developing dental caries and odontogenic infection in primary dentition.