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N Z Dent J. 2001 Dec;97(430):132-6.

Changed oral conditions, between 1963 and 1999, in the population of the Tokelau atolls of the South Pacific.

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Department of Pathology, Wellington School of Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 7343, Wellington.


In 1999, an oral health survey was included in an assessment of the community oral health programme of the Tokelau Islands population. This provided a comparison with a similar survey in 1963. In a convenience sample of 386 children and adults, approximately 30 percent of the total population, the deciduous (number of df teeth) and permanent (number of DMF teeth) tooth scores across all age groupings were higher in 1999 compared with 1963. For 15- to 19-year-olds, the mean DMF scores were 8 and 1; and for 35- to 44-year-olds, the scores were 18 and 4 in 1999 and 1963 respectively. The prominent feature of the DMF scores for those over age 25 years was the numbers of missing (M) teeth. The mean number of M teeth at 20-24 years was 5 and 0, and at 35-44 years, 13 and 2 respectively in 1999 and 1963. Periodontal disease was endemic in adults in both surveys. A serious decline in oral health has occurred over the past 35 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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