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Title: Dental caries, oral health and life style variables among school children in Qatar
Author: Al Darwish, Mohammed S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 7265
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2014
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Background: Effective delivery of dental services must be based on reliable information regarding the prevalence and severity of disease in the target population. Evaluation of the various factors known to influence the severity and progression of disease is essential for health policy makers to promote oral health resources and address oral health needs. Objective: The overall aim of this research is to describe the situation of dental caries and investigate the associations of level of oral health knowledge, teeth irregularity, BMI and other life style variables (TV viewing, internet use, passive smoking and dietary habits) with dental caries, including the impact of socio-demographic factors amongst school children in Qatar. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Qatar from October 2011 to March 2012. A total of 2,113 children aged 12-14 years were randomly selected from 16 schools from different areas. Clinical examination was conducted by three calibrated examiners using World Health Organization criteria for diagnosing dental caries. Teeth irregularity was determined clinically according to a method described by Björk et al (1964). A pre-tested and structured questionnaire was used to assess oral health knowledge and life style data. Data analyses were performed. Results: The mean decayed, missing and filled teeth index values was 4.62 (±3.2), 4.79 (±3.5), and 5.5 (±3.7), respectively, for the 12, 13 and 14 year old children. The caries prevalence was 85%. The mandibular incisors and canines were least likely to be affected by dental caries, while maxillary and mandibular molars were the most frequently attacked by dental caries. Of the total sample, only one quarter reported a high level of oral health knowledge. There were more incidences of teeth crowding (44.1%) than teeth spacing (9.5%). The overall prevalence of underweight, overweight, and obesity was 5%, 10%, and 5% respectively. Almost half of the children spent > two hours watching television and 46% spent > two hours using internet. Approximately 35.8% of children had exposure to passive smoking. Concerning dietary habits, 99.4% of children consumed sugar containing snacks in between meals. Approximately 65% consumed sugar containing snacks within one hour of bed time. Almost 49.1% skipped eating breakfast regularly and 22.7% skipped eating lunch regularly. Around 83.8% consumed diary snacks in between meals. Overall, 74.2% drank tea in-between meals and 80.1% chewed gum in-between meals. All variables were affected by socio-demographic factors, but significant differences were found in female children in that they were more at risk to dental caries than male children. Also, children who resided in semi-urban areas were more at risk to dental caries than children who resided in urban areas. The occurrence of dental caries is significantly associated with the level of oral health knowledge, teeth irregularity, and other life style variables. Conclusion: The need to reduce sedentary behaviors and to promote a more active and healthy lifestyle is becoming increasingly essential in Qatar. Implementation of a community-based preventive oral health programs on a healthy diet and practices of adequate oral hygiene should be promoted in schools through integration into the school curriculum and services to combat the growing problem of dental caries.
Supervisor: El Ansari, Walid ; Huws-Thomas, Michelle Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine ; RJ101 Child Health. Child health services ; RK Dentistry