Oral health of visually impaired and sighted children residing in institutions: A comparative cross-sectional study

Kavyashree Gururaj Hebbar1image, Girish Babu KL2image

Highlights

Visual impairment may impact psychomotor, social, and emotional development, thus adversely affecting the quality of life.

Visually impaired children had a significantly higher prevalence of dental caries, traumatic dental injuries and gingival inflammation with poor oral hygiene compared to sighted children.

This study emphasizes the urgent need for oral health promotion and effective implementation of tailor-made preventive and corrective dental treatment for visually impaired children.

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the oral health status among Visually Impaired (VI) and sighted children residing in institutions. Methods: VI and sighted children aged 6 to 14 years and residing in the institutions participated. The data on the chronological age and the status of visual impairment of children were collected from the medical records available with the institutional authorities. Oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) was recorded using a questionnaire. The status of oral hygiene, dental caries, gingiva, and traumatic dental injury were assessed. Results: A total of 206 children participated (103 of VI and 103 sighted children). Among VI children, the prevalence of dental caries in primary and permanent dentition was 32% and 45%, respectively, which was higher than sighted children. The mean difference of DMFT between VI and sighted children was statistically significant but not deft. The mean value of oral hygiene status was 1.52±0.94 in VI children and 0.76±0.02 in sighted children. Twenty-seven percent, 44%, and 28% of VI children had moderate gingivitis, mild gingivitis, and normal gingiva. Elli’s Class I and II fracture was seen in 12% and 9% of VI children, respectively. The quality of life due to oral health was compromised in VI children compared to sighted children. There was a strong correlation between assessed oral health parameters and the various domains of OHRQoL between VI and sighted children. Conclusions: The VI children had a significantly higher prevalence of dental caries, traumatic dental injuries and gingival inflammation with poor oral hygiene compared to sighted children. The poor oral health influenced the quality of life of VI children more than sighted children.

Keywords: Dental Caries; Oral Hygiene; Sighted Children; Traumatic Dental Injury; Visually Impaired

Author Affiliations

  1. Junior Resident, Department of Dentistry, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, India
  2. Professor and Head, Department of Dentistry, Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, India (Correspondece: docgirish77@gmail.com)
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Article Info

Contemp Pediatr Dent 2022:3(3):112-124

Received: 20 July 2022

Accepted: 25 November 2022

Online First: 29 December 2022

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					Kavyashree Gururaj Hebbar, Girish Babu KL. Oral health of visually impaired and sighted children residing in institutions: A comparative cross-sectional study. Contemp Pediatr Dent 2022:3(3):112-124.
				
			

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