The Association between Cariogenic Factors and the Occurrence of Early Childhood Caries in Children from Salem District of India ZC63-ZC66
Dr. Paul Chalakkal,
Assistant Professor, Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry,
Goa Dental College and Hospital, Bambolim–403202, Goa, India.
Introduction: Various aetiological factors for Early Childhood Caries (ECC) have been suggested in literature, but the role of each factor has been disputed in various studies.
Aim: To evaluate the association between ECC and its related factors in children between three to six years of age, from rural, semi-urban and urban schools in the district of Salem (India).
Materials and Methods: The study consisted of children between three to six years of age, selected randomly from schools in semi-urban, urban and rural schools at Salem. Questionnaire (comprising of the factors associated with ECC) and parental consent forms were sent to each of the parents of the school children. Filled questionnaires and parental consent forms were obtained from a total of 2771 children, out of which 1771 were boys and 1000 were girls. Clinical examination for ECC was carried out according to the WHO criteria, by a single examiner and an assistant to eliminate inter-examiner variability. Statistical analysis was carried out using the student’s independent t-test and ANOVA (one way analysis of variance).
Results: Out of a total of 2771 children examined, only 443 (315 boys and 128 girls) children were found to have ECC (16 %). Significant correlations were found between the occurrence of ECC and various factors like age of parents, number of siblings, on-demand breast feeding and bottle feeding habits and sweetened pacifier use. However, factors such as age and gender of the child, type of birth and duration of pregnancy, had no significant correlation with the occurrence of ECC.
Conclusion: The need for educating parents on the ill effects of improper breast feeding and bottle feeding habits is important.