Material Deprivation And School Absenteeism As Indicators Of Dental Caries Experience In 12-Year School Children Of Government Schools In Bengaluru City, India

Main Article Content

Dr. Nagaland T , Dr. Sushi Kadanakuppe , Dr. Rekha R , Dr. Aarya Bharadwaj


Background: Children’s oral health status is being increasingly addressed in recent years, but oral health of materially deprived and underprivileged children and its association with school absenteeism continues to be a neglected issue. This study aimed to investigate whether measures of material deprivation and school absenteeism could be used as indicators of dental caries experience among underprivileged schoolchildren.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was done on a sample of 403, 12-year-old schoolchildren attending government schools in South Zone I of Bengaluru City using a multistage clustered simple random sampling method. Data was collected on school absenteeism and its reasons while Material Deprivation among their parents was assessed using UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Clinical examinations were carried out using the World Health Organization Oral Health Assessment Form- 2013. Linear regression and mediation analysis was used between school absenteeism and ‘poor households’ with dental caries experience with the level of significance at 5%.

Results: The data analysis showed that the total caries experience of the study sample was 2.31±1.33 with nearly 120 school days missed due to dental reasons, 650 days due to medical and 250 days due to social reasons. A significantly strong positive correlation was found between the caries experience and poor households and, caries experience and school absenteeism supporting mediation.

Conclusion: The present study suggests both material deprivation and school absenteeism as good indicators of dental caries experience of the 12-year- old government school children.

Article Details