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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2000 Mar;10(1):39-45.

Oral health survey of 5-12-year-old children of National Guard employees in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Paediatric Dentistry, University of Texas-Houston, Dental Branch, Rm. # 4.131, 6516 John Freeman Avenue, Houston, Texas 77030-3402, USA.



To assess the oral health status, preventive practices and mutans streptococci (MS) levels among the children of National Guard personnel living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Cross-sectional study of schoolchildren.


Dental Clinic of the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


A sample of 272 5-12-year-old children, 154 males and 118 females (95% Bedouin), were selected from approximately 35 National Guard schools in the Riyadh area. An examination was performed in the dental clinic in the National Guard hospital. Oral hygiene was assessed using the Simplified Debris Index (DI-S); Gingival Index (GI) was used to measure gingival health; dental fluorosis was recorded according to the criteria of Dean. Dental caries (dmft, dmfs, DMFT and DMFS) was recorded according to the recommendations of Haugejorden. Concentration of MS in saline rinse samples was assessed by routine laboratory methods and expressed as colony forming units (CFU) per ml (log10).


There was a high level of dental caries (mean dmft = 3.8 +/- 3.2; mean dmfs = 21.5 +/- 15.7; mean DMFT = 2.0 +/- 1.9; mean DMFS = 3.1 +/- 3.7). Only 0.7% of the children had no caries experience (dmft + DMFT). MS levels ranged from 0 to 7.5 x 10(5) CFU per ml (mean MS = 4.10 +/- 0.90 log10 CFU per ml). A significant relationship between MS and caries experience was observed (P = 0.003). Mild fluorosis was observed in 14% of the children. Oral hygiene scores indicated that most of the examined tooth surfaces had detectable plaque (mean DI-S = 1.78). Gingivitis was present in 100% of the children and was considered moderate to severe in 14% (mean GI = 1.18).


The study revealed a high level of oral diseases and poor oral hygiene in the study population and a need for therapeutic and preventive measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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