Dental fluorosis and other enamel disorders in 12 year-old Nigerian children
D.C. Umesi Koleoso
To determine the prevalence of dental fluorosis and other enamel disorders in the study population, assess the degree of fluorosis, and calculate the average number of teeth affected by different enamel disorders among 12year-old Nigerian children.
The World Health Organization pathfinder methodology for oral health surveys was employed involving the index age 12 years. The target population was school children in the Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria. Two hundred children aged 12years with equal number of boys and girls were examined. The children's dentition were examined in a wet state for dental fluorosis, tetracycline staining, enamel hypoplasia, enamel opacities and enamel mutilation.
Dental fluorosis was present in 36.5%, 21.5% had tetracycline stains, 16.0% had enamel opacities, 7.0% had enamel hypoplasia and 2.5% presented with enamel mutilation. Based on the Dean's index 29.6% had very mild fluorosis and 7.5% had mild fluorosis. The average number of teeth affected by enamel defects in this study population was 10.8 teeth for tetracycline stain, 6.3 teeth for enamel hypoplasia, 4.6 teeth for enamel opacities and 1.0 tooth for enamel mutilation.
The high prevalence of fluorosis suggests that the children are exposed to higher than optimal level of fluoride. It is, therefore, necessary to carry out further studies to determine the levels and sources of fluoride available to these children with the view to control the intake. This may involve the introduction of paediatric toothpastes with lower fluoride levels. The presence of tetracycline stains and enamel hypoplasia is indicative of a high level of childhood diseases. It is expedient that immunization against childhood diseases as well as health education and promotion efforts are intensified, while restorative dental care is made available to the children to treat the enamel disorders.
Dental fluorosis, enamel disorders, 12 year-olds.