Author(s): Grobleri SR, Louw AJ, van Kotze TJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between caries experience, degree of fluorosis and different concentrations of fluoride in the drinking water of children. SAMPLE AND METHODS: The study included 282 children aged 10-15 years, who lived continuously since birth in three different naturally fluoridated areas (Leeu Gamka, 3.0; Kuboe 0.48 and Sanddrif 0.19 p.p.m. F), with virtually no dental care or any fluoride therapy The teeth of the children were examined for caries using the DMFT index according to th WHO criteria and for fluorosis, using Dean's criteria according to the WHO guidelines. RESULTS: The prevalence of fluorosis (scores 2, 3, 4 and 5) among the school children was 47\% in Sanddrif, 50\% in Kuboes and 95\% in Leeu Gamka. Almost half the children in the two low fluoride areas had no fluorosis (scores 0 and 1), whereas only 5\% in Leeu Gamka had no fluorosis. Of the children in Sanddrif, 42.5\% had very mild/mild (scores 2 and 3) fluorosis, 44.3\% in Kuboes and 34.1\% in Leeu Gamka. Except for one individual in Kuboes, severe fluorosis (score 5) was only observed in the high fluoride area in 30\% of the children. According to the Bonferroni adaptation for multiple comparisons, the degree of fluorosis in Leeu Gamka differed significantly from both those of Sanddrif and Kuboes. The mean DMFT for the children in Sanddrif and Kuboe was similar (164 +/- 0.30 and 1.54 +/- 0.24, respectively) but the caries experience of Leeu Gamka (198 +/- 0.22) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of both the other two areas. A strong positive correlation (P < 0.05) was found between the caries experience and the fluorosis scores of children in the high fluoride area (Leeu Gamka) but no correlation could be found in the other two areas. Significantly (P < 0.01) more children had decayed teeth in the high F area (Leeu Gamka) than in the other two areas. CONCLUSION: The results suggest a positive association between high F levels in the drinking water and dental caries. Furthermore, a low caries experience and no difference in DMFT and fluorosis between the two low fluoride areas were found.
This article was published in Int J Paediatr Dent
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals