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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 18  |  Page : 282-302

Knowledge, attitude and treatment need for periodontal disease and dental caries in 15 to 19 years individuals in Coimbatore City, India - An epidemiological study

1 Reader, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences, Pillayarkuppam, Puducherry, India
2 Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Vinayaka Mission's Sankarachariyar Dental College, Ariyanoor, Salem, India

Correspondence Address:
M Senthil
Reader, Dept. of Public Health Dentistry, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences, Pillayarkuppam, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Adolescence is a period of intense physical development, it is also the stage in psychosocial development in which a unique personal identity is acquired. With increasing social development in the adolescence there is a strong desire to look attractive and mouth is being the center of face takes a significant importance to the teenagers vanity. In the oral cavity, periodontal diseases and dental caries are the most predominant diseases. Hence, by understanding, the knowledge and attitude towards these diseases in adolescence and by analyzing their treatment needs will help in future planning, to promote health in general and the oral health in particular. Coimbatore a textile city (Manchester) of south India situated in the western part of Tamilnadu state. Industries like small scale, electrical motors, pumps, automobile spares, iron and steel, aluminum casting form major exports from Coimbatore. New industries like software and information technology have started appearing in to the city. Hence, Coimbatore is second fastest growing city in Tamilnadu next to Chennai. The growth of a city mainly depends on adolescence and hence the general health of young adult is an important factor. Oral health is an integral part of general health. Objectives: 1. To assess the knowledge, attitude and treatment needs for periodontal diseases and dental caries in 15 to 19 yrs individual. 2. To find out the factors of knowledge and attitude, which can influence the level of periodontal diseases and dental caries. Methodology: A cross sectional point prevalence questionnaire study of 1806 subjects of 15 to 19yrs were selected using stratified cluster random sampling in coimbatore city. A series of questionnaire was given to assess the knowledge and attitude, out of which some questions are to assess the knowledge of oral hygiene practice, type of brush and paste, to identify early signs of dental caries and periodontal diseases and its prevention. Specific questions were asked to assess the attitude towards dental attendance and barriers towards regular attendance. The treatment needs was assessed by clinical examination under natural light with sterile mouth mirror, explorer and CPITN probe. CPITN index and dentition status, treatment index were used to find out the disease level. Results: The study reveals females have good knowledge on oral health when compared to males. Periodontal diseases and dental caries prevalence increases with age. 99.8% brush teeth daily, 40% of them brush their teeth for 3 minutes, 50% of them rinses their mouth after every food and sweets, 40% of adolescents didn't have the habit of consuming sweets, 70% didn't know what kind of toothpaste they use, 70% of them used medium tooth brush, 70% changed their brush once in 3 months, 60% didn't know what is bleeding gums means, 50% will meet the dentist immediately when they have gums bleeding, 50% of adolescents will visit dentist only when they have pain, 65% of adolescents have visited dentist when they had problem,60% thought regular dental visits are not necessary. 86.5% (p < .000) is the prevalence rate of periodontal diseases and 69.8% (p < .000) is the prevalence of dental caries with a mean DMFT of 2.5. In chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression analysis it has found that periodontal diseases and dental caries level can be influenced by regular dental visits, barrier to dental visits, frequency of brushing, frequency of having sweets, knowledge on gum diseases and tooth decay, type of tooth paste and brush and frequency of changing tooth brush. Conclusions: As the age advances the periodontal diseases and dental caries increases, knowledge level also increases but good oral hygiene habits and attitude decreases. So the increase in disease level with age might be influenced by poor oral hygiene habits and attitude of the individual. A community oriented health education program should be implemented for parents, teachers and adolescents.

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