Nutritional status and dental caries of vulnerable Cambodian children and adolescents living in Phnom Penh

Maria Raquel G. Silva, Justine Manach, Vítor Rosado-Marques, José Frias-Bulhosa

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Abstract

During childhood, malnutrition is associated with dental caries, being the most prevalent oral disease in Cambodian. Therefore, this cross-sectional study investigated the nutritional status and the prevalence of dental caries in 344 vulnerable Cambodian children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years old. Nutritional status (body weight, height and body mass index-for-age and sex) and the DMFT index (decayed-missing-filled teeth) were measured and calculated. Results showed that most participants presented normal weight (56.7%), 36.6% were underweight, 6.7% were overweight and 45.1% were stunted. Dental caries prevalence was remarkably high (94.9%) with children aged 6-11y-old presenting a significantly higher DMFT index (6.7 ± 4.0) than adolescents (4.0 ± 2.9 for 12-14y and 4.1 ± 1.6 for 15-18y, P < 0.01). Children suffering from underweight showed the highest DMFT index (6.6 ± 3.8). In conclusion, vulnerable and at-risk children aged 6-11y-old and underweight were the most affected; therefore, prevention is urgent, especially nowadays. Nutritional and oral health literacy should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalAntropologia Portuguesa
Issue number38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Cambodia
  • Children
  • Dental caries
  • Nutritional status

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