Oral health condition and treatment needs of a group of UAE Children with Down syndrome

Original article


Mohamed A Jaber

Department of Surgical Sciences, College of Dentistry, Ajman University of Science & Technology. (Al Jurf campus), United Arab Emirates

IJMBS 2010, 2(2):62-71


Several studies have described the oral health condition and treatment needs of individuals with Down syndrome (DS), but there are no reports about the DS patients in UAE. This study was carried out to determine the oral health condition and treatment needs of a group of individuals with DS in UAE. Sixty children with DS attending Sharjah School for Humanitarian Service (SSHS) were selected for the study. In the evaluation, the children were compared with normal non-DS control group selected from children attending college of dentistry Ajman University dental clinics and matched for age and sex. Clinical assessment include extraoral and intraoral examination, measurement of DMF and dmf while periodontal evaluation included the recording of oral hygiene status, plaque index (P1), gingival index (GI), probing depth (PD), and clinical attachment level (CAL). Periodontal and gingival health status was recorded according to the Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs (CPITN). DS children were also examined for malocclusion, hypoplasia, missing teeth, crowding. Compared with normal controls, children with DS had mean numbers of decayed (D), missing (M) and filled (F) teeth (DMFT) were almost twice as high as that in the parallel healthy control age groups (13.2 ± 0.84 vs. 7.4 ± 3.94) with more of the DS children showing poor oral hygiene. The assessment of the periodontal treatment needs of the DS children reveled that only 10.0percent of the children had healthy gingiva compared with 38.3percent among the healthy controls. And significantly high proportion of DS patients (p<0.05) requiring complex periodontal treatment. DS patients have shown significantly higher proportion of malocclusion and hypertelorism (p<0.01), compared with non DS subjects. In conclusion, individuals with DS in UAE have poor oral health and increased prevalence of periodontal disease and dental caries compared with otherwise normal, age-matched control groups. Preventive, restorative and periodontal treatment needs are unmet in DS children. These findings reinforce the importance of promoting the integration of the dentist to the interdisciplinary team that provides healthcare for this group of children. Keywords: Down syndrome, Dental care, Dental treatment, Oral health, UAE Link/DOI: http://journals.sfu.ca/ijmbs/index.php/ijmbs/article/view/32/144