Oral health is conditioned by individual local factors and also by socioeconomic, cultural, environmental, community, geographical factors where living in rural or urban areas plays an important role. It is an effort of epidemiological surveillance; the first study in this area that aimed to compare oral health in children aged 6-12 years old in rural and urban locations, using as indicators the presence of caries, periodontal health status and presence of dento-maxillary anomalies. Prevalence study in school population of children aged 6-12 years old from urban and rural locations of Valparaiso Region. The study sample was taken from 231 children who had mixed or permanent dentition. The variables measured were: age, gender, location, presence of mucosa, periodontal and dento maxillary anomalies; dmft/DMFT index, oral hygiene index; presence of sealants and need of treatment; educational level of household head and child caregiver and the employment/ unemployment situation of the household head. The database was analyzed using Microsoft Excel and Stata 13.0. Descriptive statistics and bivariate multivariate inferential statistics were performed. The presence of caries, generalized gingivitis and mucosa lesions were significantly higher in rural areas, as well as, the need of treatment of dento maxillary anomalies, restorations and caries. The average dmft and DMFT index were higher in rural than urban, with significant difference. Through linear model variables such as education of the household head and child caregiver the employment/ unemployment situation of the household head were not significant when trying to explain the variability of DMFT and dmft index, but living in urban or rural areas was an important factor. Oral Health was worse in children from rural areas and constitutes a risk factor for dental caries, periodontal damage, dento maxillary anomalies and less access to health services.
KEY WORDS: oral health, urban health, rural health, dental caries.
How to cite this article
CABRERA, C.; ARANCET, M. I.; MARTÍNEZ, D.; CUETO, A. & ESPINOZA, S. Oral health in urban and rural school population. Int. J. Odontostomat., 9(3):341-348, 2015.