BMC Oral Health. 2021 Jun 25;21(1):320. doi: 10.1186/s12903-021-01681-2.
OBJECTIVE: The current study aimed to assess the caries experience and associated factors and its impact on the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) among 6-year-old Libyan children.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey including 706 six-year-old children was conducted in 2017 in Benghazi, Libya. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire assessing socioeconomic status and oral health behaviours, and the Arabic version of the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (A-ECOHIS) to assess the OHRQoL. Clinical examination assessed caries experience at tooth level (dmft) and the number of decayed, missing due to caries and filled teeth (dt, mt and ft). Poisson regression analysis was performed to determine the association between dmft scores and the independent predictors. Linear regression analysis was conducted for ECOHIS scores with the children’s gender, SES and OHB. The statistical significance was set to ≤ 0.05.
RESULTS: Data were available for 706 children. Caries prevalence (dt) and dmft of ≥ 1 were 69.1% and 71% respectively. The mean ± SD dmft score was 3.23 ± 3.32. There was a significant and direct association between dmft scores and daily consumption of sugary snacks (B = 1.27, P = 0.011) and a significant inverse association with teethbrushing twice daily (B = 0.80, P = 0.041). There was a significant and direct association between A-ECOHIS and dmft (B = 1.14, P ≤ 0.001) and a significant and inverse association between A- ECOHIS and high and intermediate family income compared to low income (B = -3.82, P = 0.0001 and B = -2.06, P = 0.028).
CONCLUSIONS: 6-year-old Libyan children had a relatively high caries experience an untreated decay with impact on OHRQoL. Social disparities, sugar consumption patterns and oral hygiene practices were associated with high caries experience.