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IJMDC. 2021; 5(2): 439-445

Oral health status among medically compromised children within Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a case-control study

Bahija Basheer, Hala Nasser Alarifi, Ghadah Khalid Alharbi, Azhar Sulaiman Alanazi, Norah Rasheed Alshammari, Wafa Mohammed Almutairi, Ibtisam Awwadh Alshalawi.


Background: The perceived need for dental care for children with special healthcare needs (SHCN) exceeds the need for either preventive or specialty medical care. The current study aimed to assess the oral health status among hospitalized and non-hospitalized children with SHCN in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: This case-control study assessed the oral health status in SHCN children by measuring the prevalence of sum of the number of decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth, def, gingival index, plaque index, and oral lesions, and related it to hospitalization. The sample size was 300 participants, aged 2-18 years old, who were divided into 150 hospitalized children and 150 non-hospitalized children from several governmental and private hospitals in Riyadh. Oral examination was conducted after receiving consent from the legal guardians who were interviewed using the self-administered 28-item questionnaire assessing demographics, hospitalization characteristics, oral hygiene practices, dental visits, dietary behaviors, medical conditions, medication use, and self-reported recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Chi-squared test was used to compare the incidence of dental diseases, periodontal diseases, and oral lesions to hospitalization.
Results: Caries was more prevalent in the controls (non-hospitalized) than in hospitalized cases (uncontrolled). Moderate gingivitis was more prevalent in hospitalized cases; however, mild gingivitis was more prevalent in controls. Plaque scores were found to be better in hospitalized cases than controls.
Conclusion: The prevalence of dental caries and plaque accumulation was significantly poorer in non-hospitalized children when compared to hospitalized patients, and gingival health was more deteriorated in hospitalized children in Riyadh city.

Key words: Oral health, children, hospitalized, caries prevalence, gingival index, plaque index

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