Height and dental caries among 13‑year‑old adolescents in India: A sociobehavioral life course approach

Shilpi Singh, N. Vijayakumar


Background: The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between height and dental caries
among 13‑year‑old adolescents in schools of Bangalore, India.
Materials and Methods: A cross‑sectional study was undertaken on 1900 schoolchildren aged
13 years from both government and private schools of Bangalore using stratified random sampling.
Demographic data; family‑related factors; and general and oral health‑related factors such as
frequency of sugar consumption, dietary habits, oral hygiene practices, and dental attendance were
interviewed using both open‑ended and close‑ended questions. Anthropometric measurements for
height and weight were performed. Clinical examination was done and caries was recorded using
the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index (WHO criteria, 1997). Data were analyzed
using SPSS version 21.0, and descriptive statistics including percentages, mean, and frequencies were
performed. Student’s t‑test and ANOVA were applied to find the significant differences between
mean DMFT among groups. Categorical data were analyzed by Chi‑square test for differences
between groups. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to find the correlation among dental
caries and height and body mass index (BMI). P value was set at a statistical significance level of 0.05.
Results: The prevalence of dental caries among the study population was 36.3% which was higher
among girls as compared to boys. Dental caries was found to be significantly associated with
socioeconomic status, family structure, birth order, use of oral hygiene aids, mouthrinsing, last dental
visit, weight, and BMI. Height and BMI showed a strong negative correlation with dental caries.
Conclusion: The present study showed a significant negative correlation between height and dental
caries. However, since both caries and height are a dynamic phenomenon, hence a longitudinal study
exploring the possible relationship should be considered.


Dental caries, height, schoolchildren, weight

Full Text:

PDF xml


  • There are currently no refbacks.