International Journal of Dentistry and Oral Science (IJDOS)  /  IJDOS-2377-8075-02-703

Prevalence of Dental Health Problems among School going Children in Rural Areas of Thane District,Maharashtra

Aparna M Thakur1*, Mala Dixit Baburaj2

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontics, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, India.
2 Professor and Head, Department of Periodontics, Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, India.

*Corresponding Author

Dr. Aparna M Thakur MDS (PERIODONTICS),
Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontics,
Nair Hospital Dental College, Ujwala Annexe, Flat No 1,
Kasturba Crosslane No 2, Opposite Muncipal School,
Borivali, East. 400066, Mumbai, India.
Tel: 09769043566/09987092310

Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 31, 2015; Accepted: June 22, 2015; Published: July 06, 2015

Citation: Aparna M Thakur, Mala Dixit Baburaj (2015) Prevalence of Dental Health Problems among School going Children in Rural Areas of Thane District, Maharashtra. Int J Dentistry Oral Sci. 2(7), 106-110. doi:

Copyright: Aparna M Thakur© 2015. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: Epidemiological studies are helpful in planning and implementing oral health programs in a given population. This initiative is a consequence of the absence of any information on any study being conducted in the past on the prevalence of dental diseases in the rural school going children of Thane district.

Aims: The aims were to (1) assess the prevalence of gingivitis, fluorosis, caries and malocclusion in the school-going children of rural areas of district Thane, Maharashtra and (2) evaluate the pattern of above-mentioned diseases in different age groups and genders.

Materials and Methods: A total of 638 school-going children comprising 282 boys and 356 girls were examined in the age groups of 4-7yrs, 8-12yrs and 13-16yrs.

Results: The prevalence of gingivitis, fluorosis, caries and malocclusion was 86.7%, 2.2%, 79.6%, and 14.9% respectively. The difference between age groups for the prevalence of gingivitis was highly significant. A significant increase in the prevalence of malocclusion was observed with age. No significant difference was found among genders for the prevalence of malocclusion. The difference in fluorosis was insignificant between boys and girls.

Conclusion: The data shows necessary dental health programs needs to be implemented to attain the required oral care among school children of rural areas of Thane district.

3.Materials and Methods


Gingivitis; Caries; Malocclusion; Fluorosis; Prevalence.


Public Dental Health has been defined as "The science and art of preventing and controlling dental disease and promoting dental health through community effort" by the American Dental Association [1]. The unique characteristic of dental diseases is that they are universally prevalent and require technically demanding expertise and time consuming professional treatment. Common dental diseases tormenting mankind are gingivitis, caries, malocclusion and fluorosis. According to G. Dale if deciduous teeth are retained beyond time of exfoliation, they are known to cause delay in eruption of permanent teeth and thus lead to malocclusion and other orthodontic problems [2].

The purpose of the study was to determine prevalence of dental health problems in school children and to obtain objective data, which can be used for dental health programmes to be implemented in future course.

Materials and Methods

A total of 638 school going children in the age group of 4yrs- 16yrs of rural areas of Thane district were included in the study. Written informed consent from the school authorities was obtained prior to the commencement of the study. A proforma was prepared to collect the data regarding general information and dental health problems. Children were grouped into different age groups. All children of respective age groups were gathered and given introductory health talk. Methods of healthy tooth brushing (fones circular technique for children up to 12yrs and modified bass technique for above 12yrs), and general oral hygiene were taught to all. A small brochure on dental hygiene was given to all. The children were examined by examiner for gingivitis, dental caries, malocclusion and fluorosis.

For purpose of this study following criteria for each condition were used.

  1. Gingivitis: loe and silness index [3].
  2. Dental caries: present/absent [4].
  3. Malocclusion: present/absent [5].
  4. Fluorosis: present/absent [1].

Each of the student was then given a report of the examination findings along with specific advice needed for the pathology detected. For any therapeutic procedure required they were advised to come to the dental OPD.

All data were compiled and subjected to statistical analysis for deriving results. Kruskal Wallis Test was used for analysis.


282 male and 356 female children made up the study population (Table 1). Out of 638 children examined, 507 (79.6%) showed evidence of dental caries, 553 (86.7%) had gingivitis, 95 (14.9%) showed evidence of orthodontic problems and 14 (2.2%) had fluorosis (Table 2) It was observed that the gingivitis was most prevalent condition affecting the children. This was followed by caries, orthodontic problems and fluorosis.

Table 1. Demographic data.

Table 2. Showing sex wise distribution of dental morbidities.


Oral health is a part of general health and hence affects the total well being of individuals. Assessment of oral health is important in deciding a treatment plan or dental public health programme.

In the present study, an attempt is made to determine the prevalence of dental health diseases in rural areas of Thane district.

Gingivitis was the commonest dental problem encountered. Prevalence observed in the study was 86.7%. Overall prevalence was found to be increase with age. These results were comparable to the study conducted by Dhar V et al., [6] which reported 84.37%. Mild gingivitis was more prevalent in the 4-7yrs age group and moderate and severe gingivitis were more prevalent in age groups 8-12yrs. There was a significant difference between different age groups and also between boys and girls. This could be explained due to mixed dentition, shedding of primary teeth, improper and unsupervised oral hygiene practices and malocclusion. Since early diagnosis ensures the greatest chance for successful treatment, it is important that children receive a periodontal examination as part of their routine dental visits. A study conducted by Jose A et al., [7] reported 54.3% prevalence of caries Total prevalence of caries in this study was seen to be 79.6%. Females experienced more decay as compared to males. However the difference was not statistically significant. Overall prevalence of fluorosis was seen to be 2.2% whereas study by Dhar V et al., [6] reported 36.36%. The prevalence was high in later maybe because of the fluoride content in water being high naturally. A study conducted by Miglani et al., [4] reported 19.6% prevalence of malocclusion comparable to our study which reported 14.9%. There was a significant difference between different age groups however, no significant difference between boys and girls. Malocclusion was found to be the highest in the age group 13-16yrs ( Table 3,4,5,6).

Table 3. Gingivitis.

Table 4. Caries.

Table 5. Malocclusion.

Table 6. Fluorosis.

Graph 1. Agewise and sexwise distribution of severity of gingivitis.

Graph 2. Agewise and sexwise distribution of caries.

Graph 3. Age and sex distribution of malocclusion.

Graph 4. Age and sex distribution of fluorosis.

Graph 5. Sexwise distribution of different dental diseases.


This data of existing dental health problems shows that necessary dental health programs needs to be implemented to attain the required oral care among the school going children of Thane district. For the benefit of community, dental health programmes have to be conducted repeatedly in order to reach the goals of WHO. Parents should be made aware of brushing methods and importance of preventive measures for the children. The rationale of school dental health programme is to improve and motivate the parents and children regarding their dental health and treatment needs.


  1. Peter S (1999) Essentials of Preventive and Community Dentistry. (1st edtn), Arya (Medi) publishing house, New Delhi.
  2. G Dale (1985) Guidance of Occlusion: Serial Extraction, in Current Principles and Technique, Mosby, St. Louis. 284-295.
  3. Carranza FA (1996) Clinical Features of Gingivitis. In Clinical Periodontology. Prism Books Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. 223-224.
  4. Bhalajhi SI (1999) Orthodontics-The Art and Science. (1st edtn), Arya (Medi) Publishing house, New Delhi.
  5. Roberson TM, Heymann HO, Sturdevant JR (1997) The Art and Science of Operative Dentistry. Harcourt Brace & Company Asia PTE Ltd, Singapore. 102-103.
  6. Dhar V, Jain A, Van Dyke TE, Kohli A (2007) Prevalence of gingival diseases, malocclusion and fluorosis in school going children of rural areas in Udaipur district. J Indian Soc Pedo Prev Dent 25(2): 103-105.
  7. Jose A, Joseph MR (2003) Prevalence of dental health problems among school going children in rural Kerala. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 21(4): 147-151.
  8. Mahesh Kumar P, Joseph T, Varma RB, Jayanth M (2005) Oral health status of 5yrs and 12yrs school going children in Chennai city: An epidemiologicalstudy. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 23(1): 17-22.
  9. Sogi G, Bhaskar DJ (2001) Dental Caries and Oral Hygiene Status of 13 to 14 year Old School Children of Davangere. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 19(3): 113-117.

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