Association between anthropometric measurements and dental caries in Turkish school children

Cent Eur J Public Health. 2011 Sep;19(3):147-51. doi: 10.21101/cejph.a3648.


Aim: To evaluate the association between anthropometric measurements and dental caries in school children.

Methods: The study was conducted on 245 primary school children (50.2% boys, 49.8% girls,), aged 5 to 9 years. The prevalence and severity of dental caries was measured using the decayed, missing or filled surfaces (dmfs, DMFS) and teeth (dmft, DMFT) indices.

Results: Mean dmft indices in children for boys and girls were 5.5 +/- 3.92 and 5.0 +/- 3.64, respectively. The prevalence of children with dental caries (dmft > or = 1) was 84.9%. The prevalence of children with body mass index (BMI) <-1SD and > or = +1SD was 15.9% and 22.9%, respectively. Dental caries were found in 89.7% of children with low body weight (including underweight and at risk for underweight) and in 66.1% of overweight-obese children (p<0.05). Similarly, high indices were detected significantly more often in children with low body weight (p<0.05). Height, weight, BMI and percent of fat mass were found to be negatively correlated with dmft indices (r:-0.141, p: 0.028; r:-0.171, p: 0.007; r:-0.139, p: 0.030; r:-0.158, p: 0.013, respectively).

Conclusion: Children with low body weight have a higher risk of developing dental caries than overweight-obese children. For these reasons, the evaluation of nutritional status in children should be implemented in control programs for dental caries both on the community and individual levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / complications*
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinness / complications*
  • Thinness / epidemiology*
  • Turkey / epidemiology