Oral Health Status among Children with Cerebral Palsy 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 of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). 84 CP children (mean age = 9.33 ± 3.89) and 125 healthy children (mean age = 9.30 ± 2.68) were recruited from special needs centers, along with private/public schools in Dubai. A dental examination including caries assessment using dmft/DMFT indices, oral hygiene assessment using the Simplified Oral Hygiene Index, calculus index and oral debris index was conducted. In addition, assessments of occlusal anomalies, dentofacial abnormalities, soft tissue abnormalities, and erosion were conducted. The mean numbers of DMFT/dmft scores of CP children were comparable to that of healthy children. The Met Need Index (MNI) and Restorative Index (RI) in the CP group with mixed dentition scored the lowest compared with the control group. Calculus Index (CI) was found to be significantly higher among children with CP (0.56± 0.78) compared with controls (0.07± 0.27) (p-value < 0.001). The proportion of debris was significantly lower among children with CP; 57 (69.5%) compared with 110 (88%) in the healthy controls (p-value =0.001). CP subjects had a significantly higher proportion of anterior open bite compared to the control group (29.3% vs 11.2%, respectively) (p value = 0.001), anterior spacing (50% vs 32%) (p value = 0.007) and trauma (31.7% vs 3.2%) (p value < 0.001). Class II molar Angle malocclusion was significantly higher in CP (80.7%) compared to controls (25.5%) (p value < 0.001). CP individuals had remarkably increased frequencies of dentofacial anomalies such as high arched palate, tongue thrust, and lymphadenopathy compared to controls. In addition, CP subjects had significantly higher proportion of oral soft tissues’ anomalies such as angular cheilitis, acroglossia, and drooling. Moreover, erosion was significantly higher among CP children relative to healthy controls (42.7% vs 15.2%, p-value < 0.001). The findings of this study revealed that CP patients had a tendency toward lower rates of caries compared to healthy children, along with lower rates of restorative and dental care. Significantly higher calculus deposits, lower debris index, and comparable oral hygiene index were also observed. Further, different forms of malocclusion in CP children exceeded those of children without disabilities.