Prevalence Of Dental Caries Among Two Selected Secondary School In Potiskum

Project and Seminar Material for Dentistry

Project and Seminar Material for Dentistry


Dental caries, a chronic disease is unique among human and is one of the most common important global oral health problems in the world today. It is the destruction of dental hard Article Info: acellular tissue by acidic by-products from the bacterial fermentation of dietary carbohydrates especially sucrose. It progresses slowly in most of the people which results from an ecological imbalance in the equilibrium between tooth minerals and oral biofilms which is characterised by microbial activity, resulting in fluctuations in plaque pH due to bacterial acid production, buffering action from saliva and the surrounding tooth structure.

The microbial community of caries is diverse and contains many facultatively and obligately-anaerobic bacteria. S. mutans is the most primary associated with it. Oral and pharyngeal cancers and oral tissue lesions are also significant health concern. Cavernous sinus thrombosis and Ludwig angina can be life-threatening. Due to this, treatment is needed for dental diseases which cost is normally high and is not feasible for all community due to limited resources such as time, person and money. Therefore, prevention is more affordable. Personal hygiene cares and dietary modification should be recommended.

Section One

1.0 Introduction

Dental caries is a bacterial disease of the dental hard tissues and occurs in certain localized site, in the dentition. It forms when bacterial breakdown of dietary carbohydrate retained in the non-self cleansing regions of the dentition produced acid which then dissolved the underlying tooth enamel thus initiating the caries lesion.

McDonald, Stocky & Avery (2014), observed that dental caries is a highly prevalent chronic sugar dependent infectious disease, affecting calcified tissue of the tooth and causing demineralization of inorganic portion with subsequent destruction of the organic substance. Dental Caries is prevalent in children and has been observed in children as young as 12 months of age.

In developing countries, the trends in dental caries prevalence among preschool children are not clear (Holm, 2014). Several factors including growing consumption of sugars and inadequate exposure to fluorides havebeen reportedly related to caries occurrence WHO (2014). Three factors are known to play a role in the development of dental caries; they are the host, the agent and the environment. Fejerskov (2013) believed that the factors interact to produce a variety of dental disease at varying rates and intensities. Changing living conditions due to urbanization and adoption of Western life style are often considered potential risk factors for the incidence of dental caries and recent population data shows that the prevalence of dental caries is related to socio-economic factors in developing countries as for developed countries.

Dental caries is the most prevalent oral disease. Its very high morbidity potential has brought this disease into the main focus of the dental health profession. There is practically no geographic area in the world whose inhabitant does not exhibit some evidence of dental caries. It affects both the sexes, all races, all socio-economic status and all age groups (Utibeabasi, 2020). It not only causes pain and discomfort, but also in addition, places a financial burden on the parent. The prevention of dental caries has long been considered as an important task for the health profession. Scientific research continues to make progress in identifying the best practices for diagnosing, treating, and preventing dental caries. Traditional approaches for treating carious lesions in a surgical manner are being replaced by newer strategies that emphasize disease prevention and conservation of tooth structure.

Dental caries is widely recognised as an infectious disease induced by diet. The main players in the aetiology of the disease are; a) cariogenic bacteria, b) fermentable carbohydrates, c) a susceptible tooth and host and d) time. However, in young children bacterial flora and host defence systems are in the process of being developed, tooth surfaces are newly erupted and may show hypoplastic defects, and their parents must negotiate the dietary transition through breast/bottle feeding, first solids and childhood tastes. Thus it is thought that there may be unique risk factors for caries in infants and young children (Seow, 2018).

It is disconcerting to see rampant caries in young children in Potiskum, Yobe state (Fass, 2017). The pattern of decay is typically that many teeth are affected, with caries developing rapidly, often soon after the teeth have erupted. Surfaces usually at low risk of developing caries are affected such as the buccal surfaces of maxillary incisors with the obvious consequence of affecting the child’s facial appearance. It is this pattern of caries that has been labelled variously as ‘baby bottle tooth decay’, ‘nursing caries’ and ‘night bottle mouth’. However, since these terms suggest that the prime cause of such caries is inappropriate bottle feeding andterm ‘early childhood caries’ be used when describing any form of caries in infants and pre-school children (Reisine and Douglass, 2018).

The answer to the question ‘What causes early childhood caries?’ is an important, if a complex one. It concerns those in both developed (Holt et al., 1996; Wendt et al., 1996) and developing countries (Matee et al., 2014; Ye et al., 1999) where many children experience this pattern of disease. Understanding the aetiology of the disease has a direct influence on public policy. In the United Kingdom, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry recommend a reduction in sugar intake by the whole child population in the country. The policy recommended by the equivalent professional society in America, on the other hand is that sugar restrictions can be relaxed in a society where fluoride is used frequently, particularly for children who have low or no caries (although this is not a universally held view amongst dentists in America), (British Society of Paediatric Dentistry, 2012; American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 2019). How aetiology is interpreted also influences the design of interventional programmes set up to prevent the disease.

Primary caries can occur on different tooth surfaces. On an approximal surface, the lesion starts and forms beneath the contact area between teeth. Caries on an occlusal surface is also a localised phenomenon in pit and fissure. On both occlusal and approximal surfaces, enamel caries is a three-dimensional subsurface demineralisation that spreads along the enamel prisms. Secondary caries is a lesion located at the margin of a dental restoration. It represents a caries lesion adjacent to the margin and there may be signs of demineralisation (wall lesions) along the cavity wall which could be a consequence of microleakage. However, clinical and microbiological studies indicate that this leakage does not lead to active demineralisation beneath the restoration (Harrison et al., 2017). Caries may be characterized by the experience of pain, problem with eating, chewing, smiling and communication due to missing, discolored or damaged teeth (WHO, 2018).

The prevalence pattern of dental caries varies with age, sex, socio economic status, race, geographical location, food habits and oral hygiene practices. Nowadays, as a consequence of high prevalence of dental caries, the treatment need is increased. This study is therefore carried out on the prevalence of dental caries among two selected secondary school in Potiskum, Yobe state.

Section Three

3.0 Conclusion

The present review documents several risk factors of dental caries which had numerous interventions to prevent caries. Since extensive damage from caries can lead to major problems for the individual, affecting quality of life both functionally and esthetically. Increasing the awareness and knowledge about dental caries in general can increase their knowledge and skills in oral health care. Having the ability to identify potential health risk factors such as lifestyle, ethnicity, health status, and social determinants associated with oral health status risk, health care providers can take an active role in health screening to discover any need for clinical preventive services, including dental preventive services, and can detect health problems. With proper knowledge and oral health behavior, health care professionals can play an important role in the oral health education of individuals and groups and act as role models for patients, friends, families and the community at large. Good general health also includes good oral health. Hence, preventing caries is an important element in public health efforts. Personal hygiene cares (proper brushing with flouride tooth paste and flossing daily) and dietary modification (minimizing snacking, chewing gum, milk and green vegetables) should be recommended. Raising public awareness about dental check-up may assist in early diagnosis.

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