The Oral Health Characteristics of Children and Teenagers with Special Health Care Needs in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Oral Health Characteristics of Children and Teenagers with Special Health Care Needs .
Objectives: The aim of this study is to assess the oral health characteristics of children and teenagers with special health care needs in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
This cross-sectional study comprised of children and teenagers with special health care needs aged 6 to 19 years who were recruited from the special schools in Ile-Ife. The prevalence of periodontal disease (gingivitis and periodontitis), dental caries and malocclusion traits were assessed using the Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Need, the Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth Index and Angle’s classification of malocclusion respectively. The severity of dental caries using the Pulp exposure, Ulceration, Fistula and Abscess Index was also assessed. Chi-square test, Student t-test and ANOVA were conducted, p≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The study sample consisted of 206 children and teenagers with special health care needs aged 6 to 19 years, 104(50.5%) were males and 102(49.5%) were females. One hundred and eighty-three (88.8%) had gingivitis, 15 (7.3%) had periodontitis and this was most prevalent in those with visual impairment. Significant associations were seen between the presence of gingivitis and periodontitis (p<0.001) and types of special health care needs. The prevalence of dental caries was 22.8%, the mean DMFT/dmft was (0.20±0.60/0.28±1.06) and the mean PUFA/pufa scores was (0.07±0.59/0.17±0.81). Angles class I malocclusion (85.4%) and spacing (47.1%) were the most prevalent malocclusion traits. The type of special health care needs was not associated with the presence of dental caries (p=0.49) and malocclusion traits (p=0.44).
The oral health status of children and teenagers with special health care needs in Ile-Ife is not optimum and needs to be improved upon. Majority are caries free. However, there is relatively high level of periodontal disease and malocclusion traits. There is further need for dental care, dental health education and oral health promotion for the study population.