Purpose: Saudi children have poor oral health; however, little data are available on the effects of dental caries and its clinical complications on the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) in school-aged children. This study evaluated the impact of caries and its clinical effects on the OHRQoL of a sample of 8- to 10-year-old children attending King Abdulaziz University Hospital.
Keywords: dental caries, oral health, paediatric dentistry, quality of life, school-age population
Materials and Methods: The following variables were assessed for each child: sociodemographic data, OHRQoL using an Arabic-validated Child Perception Questionnaire for 8- to 10-year-old children (CPQ8–10), and two global health rating questions. Caries and its clinical effects on oral health were also assessed using the decayed-missing-filled teeth (dmft/DMFT) and pulpal involvement, ulceration, fistula, and abscess (pufa/PUFA) indices. Descriptive statistics of the sociodemographic variables and responses to the CPQ8–10 questions are presented as absolute values and percentages. The CPQ8–10 scores between children with different dmft/DMFT and pufa/PUFA scores were compared.
Results: In total, 169 children participated in this study. The means ± SD of dmft and DMFT were 5.03 ± 2.5 and 2.35 ± 1.7, respectively. However, the pufa and PUFA scores were 1.03 ± 1.6 and 0.05 ± 0.2, respectively. The most common oral health complaint affecting OHRQoL was food stuck to the teeth. Participants with higher dmft and pufa/PUFA scores had statistically significantly higher CPQ8–10 scores than did their counterparts.
Conclusion: High dmft and pufa/PUFA scores have a statistically signifcantly negative effect on the OHRQoL among healthy 8- to 10-year-old children. Worse global health ratings correlate with lower OHRQoL.