Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Oral Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Reductions in dental decay in 3-year old children in Greater Glasgow and Clyde: repeated population inspection studies over four years

Alex D McMahon1*, Yvonne Blair2, David R McCall2 and Lorna MD Macpherson2

Author Affiliations

1 Community Oral Health, Level 8, University of Glasgow Dental School, 378 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow, G2 3JZ, Scotland, UK

2 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Oral Health Directorate, 120 Cornwall St South, Glasgow, G41 4AH, Scotland, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Oral Health 2011, 11:29  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-11-29

Published: 28 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Dental decay remains one of the world's most prevalent diseases in childhood. It is unfortunate that the proportion of children suffering from oral disease is so high, given that dental decay is almost entirely preventable. The objective of this study was to examine dental inspection data from three-year old children to assess the extent to which the dental health in Greater Glasgow and Clyde had improved during the initial years of the Childsmile intervention programme.

Methods

Dental inspections of three-year old children in Greater Glasgow and Clyde were undertaken in the academic years of 2006/7 and 2007/8 (the baseline years), and again in 2008/9 and 2009/10 (after the intervention had begun). A standardised protocol suitable for the age group was used. The number of decayed, missing and filled teeth was calculated (ie d3mft). If d3mft was > 0 then a child was said to have 'obvious decay experience' into the dentine. Additional results examined the effect of socioeconomic status using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

Results

We inspected 10022 children (19% of the population). The weighted percentage of children with decay experience was 26% in 2006/7, 25% (2007/8), reducing to 18% (2007/8) and 17% (2009/10). When compared to the first baseline year of 2006/7, the OR was 0.91 for 2007/8 (0.79-1.06, p = 0.221), 0.63 for 2008/9 (0.55-0.72, p < 0.001), and 0.50 for 2009/10 (0.43-0.58, p < 0.001). The weighted mean d3mft was 1.1 in 2006/7, 1.0 in 2007/8 (p = 0.869), 0.6 in 2008/9 (p < 0.001) and 0.4 in 2009/10 (p < 0.001). Reductions in decay were seen in all socioeconomic groups.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates that it is possible to impact upon the prevalence and morbidity of dental decay across the socioeconomic spectrum in a population. The dental health of young children in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area has improved in recent years.