Oral hygiene practice and dental status of autistic children
Oral hygiene practice among autistic children
Background: The worldwide incidence of oral health among the autistic children has been found to be poor for various reasons. Risk of dental caries and gingivitis is expected to be higher in these patients due to improper brushing and flossing because of the difficulties of the trainers and parents encounter when they brush the children’s’ teeth. They tend to pouch food inside the mouth instead of swallowing it due to poor tongue coordination, thereby increasing the susceptibility to caries. Communication and behavioural problems pose the most significant challenges in providing oral care.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the oral health status and dental needs of autistic children in Bangladesh.
Methods: This case control study was carried out among 2-13 years old children with special health-care needs. The study was conducted in the Department of Orthodontics of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka from the period of August to December 2017. A total of 130 children having ASD and aged between 2 -13 years were taken as cases and 182 gender-matched healthy children were taken as control. Cases were taken from BSMMU and other two autism centres. Controls were taken from a neighborhood school. Oral lesions were evaluated using standard international diagnostic criteria. Association of food habits and oral hygiene status were assessed among the study subjects. Dental status was evaluated using DMFT/dmft index according to the World Health Organization oral health surveys. Gingival health status were assessed using the Oral hygiene index of Loe and Silness, while the papillary bleeding index were assessed by employing the papillary bleeding index of Miihleman to ascertain the oral hygiene status.
Results: The mean age was found 8.72±3.40 years in the case group and 10.26±1.36 years in control group. Chi square test showed significant associations with the participants’ consumption of having more soft foods, presence of papillary bleeding and presence of decayed teeth with their oral hygiene status.
Conclusion: As data regarding oral health among autistic children are not available presently in Bangladesh. So, it is difficult for comparison of children having disabilities with those of healthy group. For planning and providing effective dental health care services for the children with autistic disorders.
Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2020; 46(2): 90-98
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