An Assessment of dental caries and periodontal disease burden in selected primary and secondary school children in Edo State, Southern – Nigeria

  • Dr. Ukachi C. Nnawuihe, (BDS) Community Dentistry Unit, Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State.
  • Sunny Ajimen OKEIGBEMEN, (BDS, MSc, MPH, FMCDS)
Keywords: Surveillance, school children, caries, periodontal disease


Objective: To assess the prevalence of dental caries and periodontal disease among school children attending
primary and secondary schools to establish the need for surveillance, planning, implementation and
evaluation of interventional oral health programs.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used. Sociodemographic data and oral examination was
carried out on school children. Diagnosis of caries and periodontal disease was according to the World Health
Organization criteria. Children in need of treatment were referred for treatment. Statistical Package for Social
Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0 was used for statistical analysis. Prevalence was determined in percentages and
Chi-square test was used to test for associations at 95% confidence interval with p set at < 0.05 significance.
Results: A total number of two thousand and sixty-six children (n=2066) were examined. Age range from 4-
21 years and mean age of 11.07+/-3.07 years. The study participants consisted of 54.9% males and 45.1%
females, 62.1% in primary schools and 37.9% in secondary schools, 32.3% and 67.7% were schooling in rural
and urban areas respectively. Children in public schools represented 66.5% and 62.8% of the examined
population were referred. The prevalence of untreated caries and periodontal disease was 18.1% and 19.3%
respectively. The Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT)/ decayed, missing and filled teeth (dmft) index
value was 0.33/0.29. Children in urban, private schools were more at risk of caries and females at a higher risk
of having periodontal disease.
Conclusion: There is a need for school oral health policy to reduce the burden of untreated preventable
common oral diseases and observed inequalities in oral health experience.