Open Access Research article

Migration background is associated with caries in Viennese school children, even if parents have received a higher education

Barbara Cvikl12, Gertraud Haubenberger-Praml1, Petra Drabo1, Michael Hagmann4, Reinhard Gruber3*, Andreas Moritz1 and Andrea Nell1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry & Periodontology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

2 Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

3 Laboratory of Oral Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

4 Section for Medical Statistics, Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Intelligent Systems, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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BMC Oral Health 2014, 14:51  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-51

Published: 9 May 2014

Abstract

Background

A low level of education and the migration background of parents are associated with the development of caries in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a higher educational level of parents can overcome risks for the development of caries in immigrants in Vienna, Austria.

Methods

The educational level of the parents, the school type, and the caries status of 736 randomly selected twelve-year-old children with and without migration background was determined in this cross sectional study. In children attending school in Vienna the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index was determined. For statistical analysis, a mixed negative-binomial-model was used.

Results

The caries status of the children with migration background was significantly worse compared to that of the native Viennese population. A significant interaction was found between migration background and the educational level of the parents (p = 0.045). No interaction was found between the school type and either the migration background (p = 0.220) or the education level of the parents (p = 0.08). In parents with a higher scholarly education level, migration background (p < 0.01) and school type (p = 0.018) showed an association with DMFT values. In parents with a low education level, however, migration background and school type had no significant association with DMFT values.

Conclusion

These data indicate that children with a migration background are at higher risk to acquire caries than other Viennese children, even when the parents have received a higher education.

Keywords:
Vienna; Caries; DMFT; Education level; Migration background; School type