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Keywords:

  • Dental caries;
  • oral health;
  • diabetes;
  • periodontal disease

Aim

To investigate experience of dental caries and periodontal treatment needs among children with type I diabetes mellitus.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional study design, in which experience of dental caries and the periodontal treatment needs of 70 children with type 1 diabetes were compared with those of 70 controls matched for age and gender. The diabetic children were recruited from the child care unit of the central Benghazi hospital. The decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) index for dental caries experience and Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs (CPITN) index for periodontal treatment needs were calculated according to World Health Organisation criteria in a dental clinic by a calibrated examiner. Scores for decayed, missing and filled teeth and periodontal treatment needs were compared in bivariate analysis.

Results

Two groups were compared: diabetic children and controls. Each group consisted of 70 children (45 males and 25 females) aged between 10 years and 15 years; the mean ages were 11.66 ± 1.44 years for diabetic children and 11.63 ± 1.54 years for controls. The diabetic children had higher means for the number of decayed teeth (= 0.037) and the number of missing teeth (= 0.028). Professional gingival scaling was the most required periodontal treatment by diabetic children (= 0.007). There were no gender differences among study subgroups.

Conclusions

The results suggest that children with type 1 diabetes are at higher risk of developing dental caries and periodontal disease. Greater efforts are required to tackle these problem and prevent complications arising from them.