Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry

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VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Association of Malnutrition and Socioeconomic Status in Dental Caries – A Cross Sectional Study

VC Punitha, P Sivaprakasam

Citation Information : Punitha V, Sivaprakasam P. Association of Malnutrition and Socioeconomic Status in Dental Caries – A Cross Sectional Study. J Oral Health Comm Dent 2014; 8 (1):12-15.

DOI: 10.5005/johcd-8-1-12

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-12-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


The objective

Of this study was to assess the association of nutritional status and socio economic status in dental caries among rural children.


Children of age 6 – 10 yrs (n = 120) from government schools in two villages of Kanchipuram district were the study subjects. The children's nutritional status was assessed by means of anthropometric measurements. Body Mass Index using weight and height of children was evaluated using the reference standard of the WHO 2007. The socioeconomic status was assessed based on education, occupation and material possession. The children's oral cavity was screened for decayed and filled teeth (dft index)


Nutritional assessment showed that 66.7% were malnourished. Female children (71.7%) were more malnourished than males (62.2%) with no significant difference between them. Children belonging to the low income group were more malnourished (74.7%) than children of middle income group (53.3%) (p = 0.01). The prevalence of caries in this population was 60% with mean dft index score of 1.7. Caries occurrence was more in the low income group (61.3%) than middle income group (57.8%) with no significant difference between the two groups (p=0.70). Comparing the caries occurrence between the malnourished children and the normal weight children it was seen that the caries occurrence was less in the malnourished children (p=0.23)


This cross sectional study concludes that malnutrition is not associated with dental caries and socioeconomic status influences nutritional status of a child in this rural population.

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