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Prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis among patients visiting the Provincial General Hospital in Nakuru

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ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dental fluorosis is considered today as one of the major dental problems in Kenya. Nakuru District has been reported to have high concentrations of fluoride in water, atmosphere and dust. The negative effects of dental fluorosis include brown discoloration, loss of enamel, skeletal fluorosis and negative psychological effects such as lowering one's esteem.

Currently there is no published information on studies done to determine the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in Nakuru. Inadequate knowledge on dental fluorosis leads to continued consumption of high fluoride. This study will motivate the stakeholders to formulate policies on prevention and management of dental fluorosis in areas containing high concentrations of fluoride in drinking water.

AIM OF STUDY: To determine the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis among patients visiting the provincial general hospital in Nakuru.

STUDY DESIGN: A descriptive, cross- sectional study.

SETTING: Provincial General Hospital (PGH) dental clinic.

STUDY PARTICIPANTS: Patients visiting the dental clinic in Provincial General Hospital.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 170 patients were selected using the convenience sampling method and examined for dental fluorosis. Intraoral clinical examination was conducted under natural light, in which the facial surfaces of 11, 24, 36, and 42 were examined. Severity of dental fluorosis was recorded in the clinical examination form with reference to the TF Index.

Other variables recorded included age, gender, source of drinking water, residence and duration of residence. Data analysis was done manually and computer aided and presented in the form of tables, pie charts, bar charts and line graphs.

RESULTS: The respondents were aged between 10 to 65 years with 60% females and 40% males. The modal age group was 21-30 years (38.2%).AII the participants with severe fluorosis were females. Central incisor (11) was the most severely affected (TF 2-8) tooth. All the respondents had a TF score of ~ 1. Therefore the prevalence was 100%.

The most common sources of drinking water were tap water (48.8%) followed by bore-hole water (32.3%) and lastly riverllake/spring water (18.8%).None of the respondents used mineralized bottle water or water from vendors. Majority of the respondents drinking tap water had mild fluorosis (62.7%) while those drinking bore-hole (52.7%) and riverllake/spring (62.5%) water had moderate fluorosis. Severe fluorosis was the highest in those drinking river lake/spring water (6.25%).

CONCLUSION: Prevalence of dental fluorosis was 100% with all respondents having a TF Index of > 1. Majority of the patients (51.2%) had mild form of fluorosis (TF Index 1-4)

RECOMMENDATIONS: concerted efforts should be made to correct poor aesthetics as a result of dental fluorosis and also recommend government and professional support for the water defluoridation program by Catholic Church of Nakuru for a wider coverage.

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