Dental Caries Experience and Oral Health in Down Syndrome Children In Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A Case Control Study
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The purpose of this study was to assess the oral health status in Down syndrome (DS) children in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). A total of 106 DS children (mean age = 9.3 ± 2.8) and 125 healthy children (mean age = 11.7 ± 4.4) were recruited from both special needs centers and private/public schools in Dubai. A dental examination including caries assessment using dmft/DMFT indices, oral hygiene assessment using the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index, an assessment of occlusal anomalies, dentofacial abnormalities, soft tissue abnormalities and erosion were conducted. The mean number of DMFT in DS children was significantly higher than that in healthy children (3.32 ± 4.62 vs. 2.16 ± 2.86). The dmft scores were highest among the youngest age groups in DS with primary dentition compared to their controls. The Met Need Index (MNI) and Restorative Index (RI) were calculated from the mean dmft/DMFT of the studied DS sample. DS children in the primary dentition group had higher RI and MNI scores than the control group (RI= 27% and MNI= 40% vs RI= 2.52% and MNI= 2.54%). On the other hand, Calculus Index (CI) was found to be significantly higher among children with DS (0.25±0.52) compared with healthy controls (0.07± 0.27) (p-value < 0.004). DS subjects had a significantly higher proportion of open bite compared to the control group (40% vs 11.2%), crossbite (42% vs. 28%), scissor bite (9.5% vs 2.4%), anterior spacing (45.3% vs 32%) and posterior spacing (20.8% vs. 8%). Class III molar Angle malocclusion was significantly higher in DS (66%) compared to controls (11.2%). DS individuals had remarkably increased frequencies of dentofacial anomalies such as shovel shaped incisors, high arched palate and microdontia compared to controls. In addition, erosion was significantly higher among DS children compared to healthy control (34% vs. 15.3%). Individuals with DS feature unique medical and orofacial characteristics that might interfere with their oral health. This current study had concluded that DS children in Dubai had higher caries rate compared to healthy children. Despite the high caries rate among DS subjects, they received more restorations and dental treatment compared to the control group. DS subjects in Dubai demonstrated most of the dentofacial anomalies usually seen in DS individuals.