Dental caries experience and association to risk indicators of remote rural populations

Int J Paediatr Dent. 2008 Jul;18(4):275-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2007.00889.x. Epub 2008 Feb 18.


Background: Dental caries continues to be the most common infectious disease of childhood; however, it is no longer pandemic, but endemic in specific sectors of populations. Therefore, it is important to identify and target patients at risk of developing caries in order to develop specific preventive measures.

Aim: This study aims to test dental caries risk indicators for significant associations with caries severity.

Design: Five separate, small, isolated rural villages in Mexico with varying degrees of caries prevalence were selected for this observational study. A total of 248 children were examined. Risk indicators were assessed via questionnaire and water and salt fluoride analysis. Caries severity was measured by the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS-I).

Results: Prevalence of caries ranged from 95% to 100% for the five villages. Mean total DMFS (decayed, missing, or filled surfaces-permanent teeth) and dmfs (decayed, missing, or filled surfaces-primary teeth) scores ranged from 2.5 to 5.0 and from 11.3 to 16.9, respectively. Multivariable models showed age and drinking soda between meals to be significantly associated with DMFS, and drinking juice and being female were significantly associated with dmfs.

Conclusion: DMFS and dmfs were high in each village, significantly different between villages, and associated with specific risk indicators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Beverages / adverse effects
  • Cariostatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / etiology
  • Dental Caries / pathology
  • Diet, Cariogenic
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Fluorides / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Fluorides