Oral health status in relation to nutritional status among kindergarten children aged (4-5) years old in Karbala city / Iraq


Back ground: Dental caries and periodontal disease were the most common andwidely spread diseases affecting children. The nutrition may be one of the factorsaffecting the severity of the oral diseases. The Aims of this study was theassessment of the following oral diseases (dental caries, gingivitis) in addition toassessment of oral hygiene among 4-5 years old children in Karbala city –Iraq.Furthermore, nutritional status was assessed in relation to oral diseases.Materials and methods: A sample of 658 children (350 males, 308 females) agedfour and five years old was selected randomly from the fourteenth kindergartensin Karbala city. Diagnosis and recording of dental caries was followed the criteriaof WHO 1987. Dental plaque was assessed using plaque index of Silness and Loe,1964. Gingival health condition was assessed using gingival index of Loe andSilness, 1963. The assessment of nutritional status was performed usinganthropometric measurement (height and weight) according to Body mass indexindicator with -2SD cutoff point.Results: Caries prevalence was found to be (83%) of the total sample the mean rankvalue of dmfs was higher among boys in comparison to girls with statistically nosignificant difference (P>0.05). The value of dmfs increased with age withstatistically highly significant difference (p<0.01).The mean rank values of dentalplaque and gingival indices for total boys were found to be higher than total girlswith statistically highly significant differences (P<0.01). Recording of this studydemonstrated that 100% of children had dental plaque and gingival inflammation.Positive highly significant correlations were recorded between dental caries withdental plaque and gingival indices. The prevalence of malnutrition described byBody mass index indicator was (3.2%). According to nutritional status indicatorBody mass index-for-age, it was found that the wasted children had higher valueof dmfs than well nourished children with statistically no significant differences(P>0.05). The plaque and gingival indices were higher among well nourishedchildren than among wasted children with statistically highly significantdifferences (P<0.01).The correlation coefficient between body mass index withdental caries, plaque index and gingival index were very weak and statistically notsignificant (p>0.05).Conclusions: High prevalence of dental caries and gingivitis was recorded indicatingthe need of public and preventive programs among kindergarten children.