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Dental trauma among 5th and 6th grade Arab schoolchildren in Eastern Jerusalem

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Abstract – 

Dental trauma is an irreversible pathology which after occurrence is characterized by life long debilitating effects. The objective of the study was to measure the prevalence of trauma in anterior permanent teeth among children and associations with independent variables. A total of 453 5th and 6th grade Arab Eastern Jerusalem schoolchildren participated. Trauma, incisal overjet and lip competence were measured by one examiner in the schools. Reasons and location of trauma were assessed by telephone interviews with the parents. The total prevalence of dental trauma was 33.8%. Severe trauma prevalence (involving dentine) was 12.6%. Severe trauma was more prevalent among boys (OR = 2.03, P = 0.026); children with lip incompetence (OR = 2.71, P = 0.001); and those with an overjet of 4mm or more (OR = 3.73, P < 0.001). The main reported causes for dental trauma were falling (29.1%), sports (16.4%), violence (20%) and playing (20%). According to the parents’ reports, more fall-related injuries were reported at home, more sport injuries at school, more ‘playing’ injuries ‘outside’ (P < 0.001). Combination of results with a previous study among Jewish schoolchildren demonstrated: severe dental trauma was related to overjet (OR = 1.73, P = 0.002), lip incompetence (OR = 2.19, P < 0.001), gender (OR for males = 1.54, P = 0.005), but not to ethnicity (Arab or Jewish). The reasons for trauma observed in this study were potentially preventable. A community effort should therefore be pursued, with the aim of educating sports teachers, teachers, health personnel and schoolchildren regarding awareness of dental trauma prevention, with emphasis on utilizing mouthguards and early orthodontic intervention, when financially possible.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2008


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