Impact of untreated dental caries and its clinical consequences on the oral health-related quality of life of schoolchildren aged 8–10 years
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This study aims to evaluate the impact of untreated dental caries and its clinical consequences on the quality of life of Brazilian schoolchildren aged 8–10 years.
A randomly selected sample of 587 children underwent a clinical oral examination for the assessment of untreated dental caries and clinical consequences. The WHO criteria (decayed component of the decayed, missing, and filled teeth—D-DMFT in permanent teeth or d-dfmt in primary teeth) and the PUFA index, which records the presence of severely decayed permanent (upper case) and primary (lower case) teeth with visible pulpal involvement (P/p), as well as ulceration caused by dislocated tooth fragments (U/u), fistula (F/f), and abscesses (A/a), were used for the oral examination. Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) was evaluated using the Child’s Perception Questionnaire (CPQ8–10). Poisson regression was employed to test unadjusted and adjusted associations between untreated dental caries/clinical consequences and OHRQoL.
The prevalence of untreated dental caries was 64.6 % (D/d component of DMFT/dmft > 0) and 17.9 % of children exhibited clinical consequences of caries (PUFA/pufa index >0). In the adjusted models, untreated caries was significantly associated with the total CPQ8–10 score and all subscale scores. The clinical consequences of dental caries (PUFA/pufa index >0) were significantly associated with the total CPQ8–10 as well as the oral symptoms and functional limitations’ subscales.
Untreated dental caries and its clinical consequences exerted a negative impact on the OHRQoL of the schoolchildren analyzed.
KeywordsDental caries Epidemiology Schoolchildren Quality of life
The study received funding from the Brazilian Coordination of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (CAPES), the Research Foundation of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ), Brazil.
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