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*Ohalete CN1, Obiukwu,C.E1, Uwaezuoke,J.C1, Dozie INS2, Nwaehiri UL3

1 Imo State, Owerri, Nigeria.
2Department of Public Health Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
3Department of Biology/Microbiology, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri.


An epidemiology study on dental caries was carried out in Imo State Nigeria amongst 1750 patients (984 males and 766 females) of all ages between June and December, 2-11 using standard microbiological methods. Informed consent was sought and obtained from patients after the objectives of the study had been carefully explained to them. Each patient was examined clinically for signs and symptoms of dental caries and a swab of each identified lesion was taken. In addition, a pre-tested questionnaire was administered on each patient to identify their nutritional habits. The result showed that out of 1750 patients examined, 647 (37.0%) were positive for dental caries. The distribution of dental caries by zones showed that Orlu (41.3%) had the highest prevalence, followed by Okigwe (36.3%) and Owerri (34.9%). The prevalence of dental caries decreased with increase in age of patients with the 0 15 year group (50.0%) being the most affected while those patients aged 46 years and above (29.2%) were the least affected group. The occupational related prevalence showed that students (47.3%) were the most affected group while artisans (23.9%) were least affected. The concomitant prevalence of dental caries with other dental diseases revealed that 42.1% of patients had both dental caries and pulpits, while 32.0% and 34.1% of patients had dental caries and periodontitis and dental caries and dental abscess respectively. The result further revealed that dental caries rate was significantly higher in non-tooth paste users (40.0%) than in paste users (27.6%). The organisms commonly isolated from dental caries lesions included Streptococci mutans (42.0%), Streptococci sanguinis (30.8%), Lactobacillus acidophilus (34.0%), Staphylococcus aureus (36.9%) and Actinomyces viscosus (31.3%). Respondents who took sugar or sugar based diet randomly, daily and weekly had more cases of dental caries than those who rarely took sugar. In conclusion, the result of the study showed that dental caries is common in Imo State. This underscores the need for improved oral hygiene habits and dental care amongst the citizens.

Keywords: Epidemiological, Studies, Dental, Caries.

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