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Family characteristics affect the periodontal diseases in children and adolescents

By Dental Tribune International
July 02, 2019

BRISBANE, Australia: We have enough literature to demonstrate an association between dental caries and family characteristics. However, the same is not true about periodontal disease, where the evidence is limited. Therefore, a recent systematic review assessed the influence of family characteristics on periodontal diseases in children and adolescents.

Although there is insufficient information on the extent of periodontal diseases in younger age groups,  gingivitis of different degrees of severity is believed to be present among most children and adolescents globally.

A review of the literature was done, for which the researchers selected 32 relevant studies published worldwide. Although there was a wide variation observed in the factors included in different studies, the researchers considered family income, socioeconomic status, educational status and occupation, and parental knowledge, practices and clinical status.

The study revealed that the socio-economic status of the family was significantly associated with periodontal diseases in children. Also, children who were exposed to passive smoking and had parents with periodontal diseases were more likely to develop periodontal diseases.

“Similar to dental caries, three commonly used indicators of parent’s socio-economic status namely income, education and occupation are significantly associated with periodontal diseases in children with better periodontal status being observed in children of parents with higher socioeconomic status than those children whose parents are of lower socio-economic status,” said the lead author of the study Dr Santosh Kumar Tadakamadla, Senior Research Fellow at the School of Dentistry and Oral Health at Griffith University in Brisbane. “However, there was not much research done to explore the effect of parental psychosocial variables on periodontal diseases in children,” he added.

“It is important to understand which parental characteristics influence periodontal disease in children to plan health promotion or prevention programmes for preventing periodontal diseases in children,” concluded Tadakamadla.

The study, titled “Effect of family characteristics on periodontal diseases in children and adolescents—A systematic review”, was published online in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene on 2 April 2019, ahead of inclusion in an issue.

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