Prevalence and factors associated with dental caries among children and adults in selected districts in Uganda|
Kutesa, Annet; Kasangaki, Arabat; Nkamba, Moses; Muwazi, Louis; Okullo, Isaac & Rwenyonyi, Charles Mugisha
Objective: The aim was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with dental caries among adults and children in
seven districts of Uganda.
Methods: Participants aged 11-13 (n=1230) and 35-44 years (n=648) were randomly selected from urban and rural areas of
Gulu, Soroti, Jinja, Masaka, Kabale, Kabarole and Hoima districts. They were examined by 4 trained and calibrated dentists
for dental caries using Decayed, Missing and Filled teeth index as described by World Health Organisation.
Results: Overall mean DMFT score was 0.73 for children and 4.71 for adults. Generally, there was a higher mean DMFT
score in the rural (2.19) compared to urban areas (1.97). In all the districts, except Hoima, there was a higher mean DMFT
score of children in rural compared to urban. In adults, similar trend was mainly registered in Masaka, Hoima and Gulu districts.
Most participants (79.9%, n=1309) occasionally ate sugared snacks. Overall, 95% (n=1795) of the participants cleaned
their teeth with plastic tooth brushes (71.7%) and chewing sticks (8.3%).
Conclusion: Although the severity of dental caries was low, the disease was widespread in the study population. A high
proportion of participants reported consumption of sugared snacks and drinks, which calls for oral health education.
Dental caries prevalence; severity; sugared snacks; tooth brushing; Uganda