Oral health status of vulnerable groups in a village of the Central Highlands, southern Vietnam

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Abstract

Objectives

Oral health status of vulnerable people in developing countries tends to be given lower priority than other health issues. Consequently, few studies have examined the oral health status of the poor and minorities in developing countries. We aim to examine the dental caries and periodontal status, and explore the risk indicators of dental caries between two ethnic groups in rural villages in southern Vietnam.

Methods

We examined the caries status and its risk indicators of 150 participants (Co-Ho minority and Kinh majority) living in a hamlet of Dangphuong village in Vietnam. We also assessed periodontal status of the participants aged 14 and over by Community Periodontal Index.

Results

We first found that dental caries were highly prevalent among both the Co-Ho minority and Kinh majority groups. Second, the higher numbers of dental caries among children with primary teeth were associated with a higher frequency of consuming sweets. Third, most people (87%) aged 14 and over had periodontal problems. Finally, the Kinh majority tended to have more dental caries than Co-Ho among people aged less than 30.

Conclusion

Oral health promotion should be considered as a part of the development programmes for vulnerable groups in Vietnam and other developing countries.

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