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Prevalence of Dental Caries among Smokeless Tobacco Chewers in Dakshina
Kannada District Population: A Cross Sectional Study
Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess association between smokeless tobacco consumption and prevalence of dental caries in Dakshina Kannada population. Materials and Methods: In this study 172 elderly dentate and consenting individuals (79 females, 93 males) were included. Patients were subjected to clinical examination under natural light with the aid of mouth mirror, No. 23 explorer and cotton rolls. Age of study group ranged from 20 years to 65 years. Tobacco consumption habit data were collected through validated questionnaire. DMFT (Decayed, Missing, and Filled Teeth Index-WHO modification 1987) was used to assess caries experience of study group. Results: Mean DMFT score of smokeless tobacco chewers was 5.66 ± 1.55 and of non-tobacco chewers it was 3.99 ± 1.6 which showed significant association between smokeless tobacco consumption and dental caries experience in Dakshina Kannada population (p=0.001). Among various forms of smokeless tobacco, tobacco along with paan leaves was the most adopted one (15.1%); but the highest mean DMFT score being 6.00 ± 1.26 was observed in patients who consumed gutka. Conclusion: This study throws light on possible contribution of smokeless tobacco consumption towards increased caries experience and it also reflects potential role of form of smokeless tobacco consumption towards dental caries.