Caries prevalence and dental health of 8-12 year-old children in Damascus city in Syria during the Syrian Crisis; a cross-sectional epidemiological oral health survey

BMC Oral Health. 2019 Jan 15;19(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s12903-019-0713-9.


Background: There was an immense need for studies evaluating the dental health status in Syrian children, especially under the current circumstances of the Syrian crisis. No contemporary data was available. The aim of this study was to assess the current dental health status in children aged 8 to 12 years in Damascus city.

Methods: The study was a cross-sectional epidemiological school-based oral health survey using stratified random cluster sampling. A total of 1500 children were clinically examined. For each child, personal information together with DMFT and dmft indices were recorded. Statistical analysis was undertaken to investigate the effects of different factors on caries prevalence. ANOVA, and Chi Square tests were both utilised.

Results: The caries prevalence for the whole city was at (79.1%). The mean DMFT was (2.03 ± 1.81) and the mean dmft was (2.47 ± 2.94). Of the DMFT index mean value, (91.14%) was for decayed and missing permanent teeth. Of the dmft index mean value, (89.1%) was for decayed and missing deciduous teeth. The most affected teeth were the permanent first molars (1.58 ± 1.51). There is a statistically significant relationship between the used indices means and the children's distribution as to the city's localities.

Conclusions: Dental caries was higher than expected. Health promotion programmes are essential and of critical importance in order to improve the dental health status.

Keywords: Caries; Children; DMFT; Damascus; Oral health; Prevalence; Syria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Health*
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Syria / epidemiology