Prevalence of periodontal diseases among the adult tribal population in Nilgiris- an epidemiological study
Background: India has one of the largest tribal concentrations in the world. Nilgiris is a unique biosphere in the Western Ghats and part of Tamil Nadu, India, has number of tribal groups as its inhabitants. These inhabitants of Nilgiris are segregated from modern civilization. The accessibility of these tribes to medical and dental care is minimal. Aim: To determine the prevalence of periodontal disease, and the relationship of periodontal disease with the oral hygiene, oral hygiene methods practiced and habits. Methods: The study was conducted among the adult (35- 44 yrs) tribals of Nilgiris. Information regarding the population was collected from Association for Health Welfare in the Nilgiris (ASHWINI). Community Periodontal Index and loss of attachment were used to record the periodontal status of 303 tribals. Plaque Index was used to record the oral hygiene status. Results: In the age group of 35-44years, 73.6% of the total population had periodontal disease. 23.8% of the population had loss of attachment of 9-11mm, which is considered as severe periodontal disease. When the habits like smoking, paan chewing and alcohol were compared with the periodontal disease, the people who have these habits showed greater Plaque Index score, higher Community Periodontal Index score and severe loss of attachment. Male population suffered severe periodontitis than females. Conclusions: Overall prevalence of periodontal disease in the tribal population of Nilgiris was 73.6%. Majority of the male population was affected by periodontal disease. Education and motivation of the population is required to improve the oral hygiene, oral hygiene measures and to refrain from habits like smoking, paan chewing and smokeless tobacco use and alcohol abuse.
Keywords: Periodontal disease; Loss of attachment; Community Periodontal Index; Plaque index; Prevalence; Tribals.
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