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ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 266-277

A study to assess the oral health status and treatment needs of fishermen population in coastal region of Tamil Nadu


1 Reader, Dept. of Community Dentistry, VMS. Dental College, Salem, India
2 Professor and Head, Dept. of Community Dentistry, J.S.S. Dental College, Mysore, India
3 Professor, Dept. of Community Dentistry, Sibar Dental College, Guntur, India

Correspondence Address:
N Saravanan
Reader, Dept. of Community Dentistry, VMS. Dental College, Salem
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Objectives: To assess the oral health status and treatment needs of fishermen population in coastal regions of Tamil Nadu. To suggest possible measures to improve their present oral health status. Materials and methods: The study was conducted in Karaichuthuvari coastal village of Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu was selected by multistage sampling method. Prior permission was obtained from president of concern village and secretary of fishermen co-operative society. All the available 297 population in which 144 fishermen and 153 Non-fishermen were examined with their consent. Information regarding demographic details, dietary habits, oral hygiene habits, personal habits and past dental visits was obtained by using pre-designed questionnaire. The oral health status was recorded on the WHO oral health assessment form 1991 (modified) and the examination was carried out under natural light by using mouth mirrors and CPI probe. Results: Significant observation was that (52.7%) of the fishermen had oral mucosal lesions compared to Non-fishermen (37.9%). The prevalence of dental caries high among fishermen (54.9 %) compared to Non- fishermen (44.4%) The different stage of periodontal disease was higher among the fishermen (93.1%) than the Non- fishermen (83%). 43.1% of the fishermen had loss of periodontal attachment compared to non-fishermen (28.8%). The treatment needs for fishermen were extraction 39.6%, filling 20.8%, pulp care 11.8%, prosthetic upper 30.5%, and prosthetic lower 37.5% for Non-fishermen extraction 35.5%, filling 18.3%, pulp care 15.6%, prosthetic upper 27.4%, and prosthetic lower 30.7%. Conclusion: Oral health status of fishermen was relatively poor with high caries prevalence (54.9%) poor periodontal health (93.1%) and high prevalence of oral mucosal lesions (52.7%) when compared to Non-fishermen. High prevalence of dental caries may be due do their high sweet consumption (75.7%) and poor oral hygiene practice (84.7%). High gutka (31.3%) and pan chewing habits (38.9%) might be the reason for higher oral mucosal lesions among fishermen. Treatment needs like extractions 39.6%, filling 20.8% and prosthetic rehabilitation were required for fishermen.


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