Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry

: 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 102--103

Prevalence of Dental Caries Among 3–6-Year-Old Anganwadi Children in Mudhol Town, Karnataka, India

Mahmood D Al-Mendalawi 
 Department of Paediatrics, Al-Kindy College of Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Mahmood D Al-Mendalawi
Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health, Consultant, Paediatrician, P.O. Box 55302, Baghdad Post Office, Baghdad

How to cite this article:
Al-Mendalawi MD. Prevalence of Dental Caries Among 3–6-Year-Old Anganwadi Children in Mudhol Town, Karnataka, India.J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2017;15:102-103

How to cite this URL:
Al-Mendalawi MD. Prevalence of Dental Caries Among 3–6-Year-Old Anganwadi Children in Mudhol Town, Karnataka, India. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Oct 17 ];15:102-103
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I have read with interest the study by Kashetty et al.[1] on the dental caries (DCs) among 3–6-year-old Indian children. It has inspired me to throw light on the profile of DCs among Iraqi preschool children and compare it with that reported in India. Therefore, I would like to address the following three points.

First, the authors mentioned that “62.14% of the studied children were found to be affected by DCs; the prevalence of DCs increased with increase in age; no significant difference was found with respect to gender; the mean decayed dmft was 2.34; and the filled component was nonexistent among these children; and second primary molars were the teeth most affected by caries followed by first molars and central incisors.”[1] In Iraq, the spectrum of DCs is noticeably different. There is high prevalence of DCs (81.20%) with no gender difference (P > 0.05). The mean decayed missing filled teeth was found to be 5.11. Posterior teeth were more susceptible to DCs than the anterior teeth. The occlusal surface was the most affected surface followed by proximal surface.[2] The difference in the prevalence and pattern of pediatric DCs between India and Iraq might be attributed to the cofounding effects of interobserver variability in DCs detection and measurement, fluoride concentration in drinking water, residence, oral hygiene, socioeconomic status (SES), and genetic susceptibility to DCs and other unknown factors.

Second, though the authors did not study risk factors contributing to the development of DCs in preschool children, I presume that the risk factors are generally similar in India and Iraq with some differences. In India, children from low SES, having working mothers, low parental education, those accustomed to on-demand breast feeding, bottle feeding at night, between-meal snacking, and sweetened pacifier use were more likely to have DCs. However, factors such as increased frequency of tooth brushing, use of toothbrush, and fluoridated dentifrice were found to be the protective factors against the risk of DCs.[3],[4] In Iraq, rural residence, low SES, low parental education level, and tooth brushing frequency were dependent risk factors significantly associated with DCs. However, gender, parental smoking, and pattern of feeding during infancy were not significantly associated with DCs.[5]

Third, dentists and pediatricians could collaboratively counteract risk factors contributing to the development of DCs. This is achieved in Iraq at the level of primary healthcare centers through early identification and proper treatment of DCs as well as education of parents on DCs. I wonder whether a similar plan is employed in India to curtail further rise in the magnitude of DCs.

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1Kashetty MV, Patil S, Kumbhar S, Patil P. Prevalence of dental caries among 3–6-year-old Anganwadi children in Mudhol town, Karnataka, India. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2016;14:403-8.
2Hassan ZS, Al-Taai AA. Pattern, severity, and treatment needs of dental caries among five-year kindergarten children in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraqi J Community Med 2006;3:280-5.
3Stephen A, Krishnan R, Ramesh M, Kumar VS. Prevalence of early childhood caries and its risk factors in 18–72 month old children in Salem, Tamil Nadu. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent 2015;5:95-102.
4Gopal S, Chandrappa V, Kadidal U, Rayala C, Vegesna M. Prevalence and predictors of early childhood caries in 3- to 6-year-old south Indian children − A cross-sectional descriptive study. Oral Health Prev Dent 2016;14:267-73.
5Al-Mendalawi MD, Karam NT. Risk factors associated with deciduous tooth decay in Iraqi preschool children. Avicenna J Med 2014;4:5-8.