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J Calif Dent Assoc. 1998 May;26(5):347-54.

Oral health status of special athletes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Oral Health, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717, USA.


A standardized oral health screening protocol was developed for assessing the oral health status of athletes participating in annual Special Olympics events at sites across the country. This paper reports on results at the San Francisco Bay Area Special Olympics event, where 385 athletes participated in the oral health screening. Trained dental screeners determined the presence or absence of edentulism, untreated decay, filled teeth, missing teeth, tooth injury, fluorosis, and gingival signs, as well as treatment urgency. The frequency of mouth cleaning, having a mouth guard, use of tobacco, and presence or absence of pain were self-reported. Overall, child athletes 9-20 years of age had more untreated decay and substantially more missing permanent teeth than 9-20-year-old children represented in the 1986-87 National Institute of Dental Research Survey of U.S. School Children. Prevalence of missing teeth among adult athletes compared favorably with data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey. Approximately one-third of child and adult athletes were determined to need dental care. Continued use of a standardized screening protocol could allow state-specific data to be available on the oral health status of this population; trends could be tracked; and needs could be identified, with strategies developed to meet those needs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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