The relationship between oral hygiene level and gingivitis in children

Adv Clin Exp Med. 2018 Oct;27(10):1397-1401. doi: 10.17219/acem/70417.


Background: The condition of the teeth, periodontium and oral mucosa determines directly and indirectly the general health of the organism and, therefore, requires to be monitored. Childhood, especially the first years of life, is the time when proper health-promoting behaviors are formed, allowing the future prevention of such diseases as dental decay and gingivitis. Studies concerning the gingival status and bleeding in children are scarce, although such knowledge can be useful in planning preventive programs.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between oral hygiene level and the likelihood of gingival bleeding.

Material and methods: The examined group comprised 2,856 children aged 7 years, living in an urban area in western Poland. The hygiene status was evaluated according to the simplified Debris Index (DI-S) criteria and the periodontal status was evaluated according to the Community Periodontal Index (CPI) criteria. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the predictors of gingival bleeding.

Results: The average value of DI-S was 0.91; it was not significantly different between girls and boys. In more than a half of the studied subjects (59.10%), oral hygiene was fair, in 12.46% - poor. Clinically healthy periodontium was observed in 91.32% of cases, bleeding on probing was present in 7.46% of cases. Calculus was detected in 1.22% of the children. Logistic regression analysis of the predictors of gingival bleeding showed that children with fair and poor oral hygiene were respectively 6 and 25 times more likely to show bleeding on probing compared to the children with very good oral hygiene.

Conclusions: In the studied group, it was noted that there is a need to promote oral hygiene, as it contributes to the fall in gingivitis prevalence among school children.

Keywords: Polish children; gingivitis; oral hygiene.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / diagnosis
  • Gingivitis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Periodontal Index
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Urban Population