Objective: The objective is to study the effect of obesity on dental caries among schoolchildren in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Materials and Methods: The sample comprised 803, 11-17-year-old schoolchildren. The study was in the form of a randomized cross-sectional manner. Method used was two questioners. The first assessed socioeconomic and general health and the second detailed their demographic, oral hygiene, and dietary habits. Dental examination included dental caries assessment using the World Health Organization 1997 criteria and gingival health valuation. Clinical examination consisted of height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). Data analysis was done by descriptive, univariate, and multiple regressions.
Results: In this sample, 75% had dental caries and the mean decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) was 3.19 (standard deviation: 2.9). Obesity was seen in 15% of the adolescents and the mean BMI was 21. The link between DMFT and BMI, when evaluated using univariate analysis, showed a significant correlation (r = 0.097, P = 0.006), indicating that the rise in BMI by 10 points resulted in an increase in DMFT by 0.57. However, in the multivariate analysis, a significant relationship was observed only between father's education (P < 0.001), adolescent's age (P < 0.001), gender (P = 0.008), ethnicity (P = 0.001), and soft drink consumption with DMFT while BMI showed a significant association with age (P < 0.001), school fees (P = 0.005), obesity in family (P < 0.001), and soft drink consumption (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Obesity and dental caries were not significantly associated. The most important predictor for obesity and dental caries was soft drink consumption.
- Dental caries
- Soft drink consumption