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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 27-30

A study to assess knowledge of periodontal disease among university students in Assam


Associate Professor, Department of Dentistry, Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar, Assam, India

Date of Submission15-May-2022
Date of Acceptance31-May-2022
Date of Web Publication28-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Purobi Choudhury
Department of Dentistry, Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar, Assam
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpcdr.ijpcdr_13_22

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  Abstract 


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate levels of oral health knowledge of periodontal disease among nondental university students.
Materials and Methods: One hundred university students (mean age 20.1 years ± 2.5) were recruited into this study. The participants completed a structured questionnaire during a personal interview. The questionnaire consisted of items to assess participants' personal data (age, gender, level of study, and specialty) and oral heath knowledge related to periodontal disease. Statistical significance was based on probability values of <0.05.
Results: Participants showed poor knowledge of causes, signs, symptoms, and preventive measures of gum disease. Only 49% of first-year and 60% of final-year students said yes as an answer. The level of the study had no relationship with students' knowledge of the initiating factors of periodontal disease but had a significant relationship with the knowledge of periodontal disease's signs, preventive measures, and relations to general health and systemic disease. Students from scientific disciplines had more knowledge of periodontal disease's causes, preventive measures, and relations to general health and systemic disease than those from humanity disciplines.
Conclusions: There were significant differences in oral health knowledge regarding periodontal disease between students from different levels of studies and different disciplines.

Keywords: Assam, dental education, knowledge, periodontal disease, university students


How to cite this article:
Choudhury P. A study to assess knowledge of periodontal disease among university students in Assam. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res 2022;9:27-30

How to cite this URL:
Choudhury P. A study to assess knowledge of periodontal disease among university students in Assam. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 16];9:27-30. Available from: https://www.ijpcdr.org/text.asp?2022/9/2/27/348708




  Introduction Top


Periodontal disease, including gingivitis and periodontitis, is considered to be one of the most common diseases among population and if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.[1] The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque although many other factors such as hormonal changes, diabetes, poor nutrition, smoking, and stress may affect the initiation and progression of gingival and periodontal diseases.[2] The development of common periodontal diseases depends mainly on human behavior, and the control of these diseases is greatly supported by the fact that the etiological factors are well documented.[3]

Effective plaque control is an essential part in the treatment of inflammatory periodontal diseases.[4] Many studies showed that effective plaque control for each person cannot be achieved without interactive motivation that includes educational and informative knowledge for the patient about periodontal diseases, their initiating factors, and the major role of dental plaque as the initiating cause for inflammatory periodontal changes.[4],[5] By reviewing the available literature, it appeared that we lack data concerning the effect of the students' level of studies and study discipline (i.e., humanities or scientific faculties) on oral health knowledge. These factors might have a great influence on students' knowledge through the types of courses they submit, and the effects of these courses on the information which could be delivered to them, or from their colleagues in different faculties at the university.[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12] Consequently, the purpose of this study was to investigate the knowledge about periodontal oral health and the knowledge of the causes of inflammatory periodontal diseases among university students. This study provides data for future research and allows comparisons with university students' oral health knowledge in other nations.


  Materials and Methods Top


One hundred nondental students were recruited into this cross-sectional study after being randomly selected from the university students. The recruited students were all from the levels of first and final years. All procedures performed in the study were conducted in accordance with the ethics standards given in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki, as revised in 2013. The study proposal was submitted for approval and clearance was obtained from the ethical committee of our institution. Written informed consent was obtained from each participant. A previously prepared structured questionnaire was distributed to the participants through the personal interview by the researcher. All participants were provided with a full explanation of the study and the questionnaire. Medical and dental terms of the questionnaire related to causes, signs, and symptoms of periodontal diseases were also explained to them during the study. Once completed, each questionnaire was double-checked to make sure that all the items were answered and participants were requested to complete any missing data. Data were processed by the computer after auditing, reviewing, and coding the completed questionnaires for data processing and analysis.

Statistical analysis

Data were processed and analyzed by means of computerized SAS statistical package. Frequency tables, percentages, and cross-tables were generated. Chi-squared test was used to identify significant relations and differences between oral health knowledge and gender, level of study, and discipline of the study. Statistical significance was based on probability values of <0.05.


  Results Top


The final study sample consisted of 100 male and female nondental university students (mean age 21 ± 2 years). [Table 1] summarizes the distribution of participants' knowledge of causes, signs, and preventive measures of periodontal disease according to the level of the study. When asked What is the initiating factor of periodontal disease? Only 49% of first-year and 60% of final-year students said yes as an answer. When asked What is the most indicating sign of periodontal disease? The correct answer was is using toothbrush and dental floss given by 62% of first-year and 80% of final-year students. Only similar levels of knowledge regarding the cause of periodontal disease (bacterial plaque) were reported by students from both study levels. However, final-year students were more knowledgeable than first-year students regarding gingival bleeding being the most important sign of periodontal disease. Furthermore, final-year students had better knowledge of the preventive measures for periodontal disease than first-year students. The level of the study had no relationship with students' knowledge of the initiating factors of periodontal disease but had a significant relationship with the knowledge of periodontal disease's signs, preventive measures, and relations to general health and systemic disease. Students from scientific disciplines had more knowledge of periodontal disease's causes, preventive measures, and relations to general health and systemic disease than those from humanity disciplines.
Table 1: Distribution of responses to periodontal health knowledge questions by year of the study

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  Discussion Top


We believe that oral care education needs to improve oral health knowledge do exist in many developing countries, especially in the third world. The results of this study might help to evaluate the efficacy of public education programs in future. The results also indicate that potential parents' (university students) education must be included in any national program that promotes preventive oral care in schools as well as in other oral health educational programs aimed at the general public.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Lack of both parents and children oral health education might also explain the findings of this study.[6],[7],[8],[9],[10] Poor oral health knowledge among the participants in this study coincided with findings from the previous studies that reported a lack of acceptable levels of knowledge and awareness of periodontal problems among Assam adults.[11],[12] During the past decade, extensive efforts have been made by the dental schools in Assam in an attempt to improve the periodontal knowledge and practice of the dental personnel, but still these efforts are not enough to raise the standards of professional periodontal practice among dentists which directly affects the public.[5],[9] Consequently, dental health education programs that aim to improve oral health knowledge and practice among the public are very important. Improving public awareness of periodontal health should be an essential public health goal. In many developing countries, there is no emphasis on dental health care during primary, secondary, and high school teaching. Knowledge and awareness concerning some oral health subjects (such as periodontal disease) are still poor, and more dental health education is needed to improve oral health.[12] Emphasis on dental health care and education should be developed and maintained during early school education to improve the oral health knowledge of adults later on. Oral health education should also be included and emphasized in university curriculums for nondental students during their university study. It is well known that the oral health of parents reflects on their children and that their attitudes and knowledge affect their children. Hence, educating adults and university students seems among the means to improve the oral health knowledge and behavior of the nation in future. Therefore, preuniversity and university curricula and education about dental health care might be an important factor that can influence the oral health knowledge and attitudes of students not related to the dental field.


  Conclusions Top


Students from scientific faculties had better knowledge of periodontal disease causes, signs, preventive measures, and relations to general health than students from humanity disciplines. Students from higher levels of studies had better knowledge of periodontal disease signs, preventive measures, and relations to general health than those from lower levels of the study. Finally, oral health education should be included and emphasized in university curriculums for nondental students during their university study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Taani DQ. Periodontal awareness and knowledge, and pattern of dental attendance among adults in Jordan. Int Dent J 2002;52:94-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Hugoson A, Lundgren D, Asklöw B, Borgklint G. Effect of three different dental health preventive programmes on young adult individuals: A randomized, blinded, parallel group, controlled evaluation of oral hygiene behaviour on plaque and gingivitis. J Clin Periodontol 2007;34:407-15.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
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Al-Ansari JM, Honkala S. Gender differences in oral health knowledge and behavior of the health science college students in Kuwait. J Allied Health 2007;36:41-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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Kawamura M, Iwamoto Y, Wright FA. A comparison of self-reported dental health attitudes and behavior between selected Japanese and Australian students. J Dent Educ 1997;61:354-60.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Kawamura M, Spadafora A, Kim KJ, Komabayashi T. Comparison of United States and Korean dental hygiene students using the Hiroshima university-dental behavioural inventory (HU-DBI). Int Dent J 2002;52:156-62.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Downer MC. The improving dental health of United Kingdom adults and prospects for the future. Br Dent J 1991;170:154-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Petersen PE, Aleksejuniene J, Christensen LB, Eriksen HM, Kalo I. Oral health behavior and attitudes of adults in Lithuania. Acta Odontol Scand 2000;58:243-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Stenberg P, Håkansson J, Akerman S. Attitudes to dental health and care among 20 to 25-year-old Swedes: Results from a questionnaire. Acta Odontol Scand 2000;58:102-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Kalsbeek H, Truin GJ, Poorterman JH, van Rossum GM, van Rijkom HM, Verrips GH. Trends in periodontal status and oral hygiene habits in Dutch adults between 1983 and 1995. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2000;28:112-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Al-Omiri MK, Al-Wahadni AM, Saeed KN. Oral health attitudes, knowledge, and behavior among school children in North Jordan. J Dent Educ 2006;70:179-87.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Szöke J, Petersen PE. Evidence for dental caries decline among children in an East European country (Hungary). Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2000;28:155-60.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Rajab LD, Petersen PE, Bakaeen G, Hamdan MA. Oral health behaviour of schoolchildren and parents in Jordan. Int J Paediatr Dent 2002;12:168-76.  Back to cited text no. 12
    



 
 
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