Correlation Between Body Mass Index and Dental Caries Among Three- to 12-Year-Old Schoolchildren in India: A Cross-Sectional Study

Cureus. 2019 Aug 18;11(8):e5421. doi: 10.7759/cureus.5421.


Introduction: Diet is a deeply ingrained element of a person's life. Children's dietary habits are a significant contributor to obesity and dental caries. Dental caries during childhood continues to be a significant public health concern, while childhood obesity is increasingly being cited as a major public health problem. This study aimed to assess the correlation between body mass index (BMI) and dental caries in children aged three to 12 years who attended both government and private schools in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Materials and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional review of 2200 children aged three to 12 years with clinically recorded dental caries. The World Health Organization diagnostic criteria for BMI percentile was used to evaluate and record dental caries clinically. The Mann-Whitney and the Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for univariate comparisons.

Results: Mean values between the overweight category and underweight category revealed no significant differences.

Conclusion: We found no association between BMI-for-age and dental caries in children in both primary and mixed dentition. This relationship should be investigated further by longitudinal studies.

Keywords: body mass index; dental caries; obesity; over weight; school children.