Dental health among school population in Nigeria; do we sense any change?

May El-Nadeef, Odont, Shiraz Amin, Eino Honkal
Ministry of Health, Dubai, UAE, DDS, Sharjah Medical District, UAE. Faculty of Dentistry, Kuwait University, Kuwait

The aim of this paper is establish levels of caries and periodontal diseases among 11-15- year-olds school population in central Nigeria and to relate the results to studies reported over the past thirty years or so in Nigeria. A population of 642 students were surveyed and examined for caries and periodontal diseases following WHO criteria for estimation of possible levels. Healthy periodontal conditions detected as (CPITN score; 0, 1 & 2) indicated relatively good oral health in school population of central Nigeria. Altogether, 85% of them were caries free and the mean DMFT was only 0.27. In addition, 10 studies reporting periodontal conditions and 17 studies reporting the caries situation were reviewed. Periodontal studies showed no evidence of severe periodontal diseases, however, high prevalence of calculus was found. Caries studies did not reflect any clear pattern of increase or decrease over time. Studies conducted in Lagos indicated that there is continuing increase in caries in this state. Other areas (Ile Ife and Ibadan) appeared to have a modest decline in dental caries prevalence. Ondo State showed a sharp increase followed by a decrease in dental caries. At a national level the magnitude of any caries increase is debatable. All present evidence seems to indicate that any tendency towards future increase in caries experience of 12-15 year-olds may occur in some parts of Nigeria, Lagos and Ondo States. However, the caries level in central Nigeria has remained low for the last 30 years.

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Correspondence: Dr. May El-Nadeef
P.O. Box 2831, Ajman, UAE.
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