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Background and objective: Dental caries is a problem in young thalassemia patients and it can lead to rampant decay, infection, pain, chewing problems and malnutrition. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of dental caries in thalassemia patients at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University.
Methods : This cross-sectional study was conducted from December, 2005 to September, 2006 at Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University. One hundred and four thalassemia patients volunteered to participate in this study. Data on the patients were collected from medical records, questionnaires and dental examination records. The dental caries status were recorded using the DMFT index. Dental caries was diagnosed by visual examination using dental mirror, explorer and periodontal probe as per the criteria recommended by the World Health Organization. A questionnaire contained demographics and oral hygiene care. We collected type of thalassemia from medical record. Descriptive statistics used frequency, percent, mean and standard deviation.
Results : The number of thalassemia patients were 104. Age averaged was 11+4.8 years old (min-max = 2 – 24 years old). The β thalassemia and α thalassemia were 71.5% and 28.5% respectively . The prevalence of dental caries was 88.5%. Decayed, missing and filling of deciduous teeth (DMFT) were averaged at 2.28+3.65 teeth/person. Decay, missing and filling of permanent teeth (DMFT) averaged 3.12+3.72 teeth/person. We found that #85 #65 #74 #54 in deciduous teeth and #46 #36 #16 #26 in permanent teeth had dental caries more than the other type of tooth.
Conclusion : The prevalence of dental caries in this study was 88.5% which need the restorative dental care.
Keywords : dental caries, thalassemia