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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-36

Association of nutritional status and dental health among 3–6-year-old children of a South Indian population

1 Department of Dentistry, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, The Oxford Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Priya Subramaniam
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, The Oxford Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre, Bommanahalli, Hosur Road, Bangalore - 560 068,Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjos.SJOralSci_50_17

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Background: Nutrition promotes healthy development and maintenance of oral health. Chronic malnutrition affects tooth exfoliation and renders the permanent teeth susceptible to caries.Aim: To assess the nutritional status and dental health in 3–6-year-old children.Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted on a representative sample of 1459 children, aged 3–6 years, and visiting the Integrated Child Development Centers (anganwadi) of T. Narasipura Taluk, Mysore, India. Nutritional status was evaluated by measuring body mass index (BMI) and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC). Oral examination was carried out using a noninvasive technique with the child sitting in an upright position under good natural light. Dental caries, enamel hypoplasia, and oral mucosal status were recorded according to the WHO criteria. Results: Nutritional status according to BMI showed 41% of children to be underweight and according to MUAC only 0.82% of children were undernourished. A highest (41.7%) number of underweight children were seen in 3–4 years age group, with a higher number of females being affected. The prevalence of dental caries was 61.07% and was highest in 3–4 years age group. More number of females were affected with dental caries than males. The prevalence of enamel hypoplasia was 8.7%. Association of dental health status with BMI was significant with dental caries. Conclusions: Forty-one percent of children were underweight and the prevalence of underweight children increased with age. The prevalence of dental caries and enamel hypoplasia were 61% and 8.7%, respectively.

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