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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 58-63

Comparative evaluation of oral hygiene practices and oral health status in autistic and normal individuals

Department of Periodontology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS University, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
M Vajawat
Room No. 9, Department of Periodontology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS University, Mysore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.109369

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Aim: The present study attempts to explore the oral hygiene practices and oral health status in autistic patients as compared to nonaffected, same aged healthy individuals. Materials and Methods: The oral hygiene practices, prevalence of caries and periodontal status were evaluated in 117 autistic patients and 126 healthy individuals. The test and control groups were divided into three categories, based on the type of dentition as Primary dentition (Category 1), Mixed dentition (Category 2) and Permanent dentition (Category 3). Plaque and gingival status was recorded by plaque index (Loe, 1967) and gingival index (Loe, 1967), periodontal status by community periodontal index of treatment needs and dental caries by DMFT/DEF index. Statistical analysis was done using descriptive statistics, independent sample t-test, contingency coefficient test and one-way ANOVA test by SPSS 14 software. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the brushing habits between autistics and controls ( P = 0.573); however, Autistics required assistance in brushing. Prevalence of caries was significantly lower in autistic patients ( P = 0.000). Plaque and gingival scores were significantly higher in autistic patients ( P = 0.000) and prevalence of periodontal disease was significantly higher in autistic patients ( P = 0.000). Greater number of autistic patients required professional scaling and root planing ( P = 0.000). Conclusion: The present study suggests that autistic patients have a higher rate of periodontal disease and lower caries compared to controls. Attempts should be made by parents, general dentists and periodontists to teach oral hygiene methods to these patients by constant repetition and patience, as autistic individuals can develop skills over a period of time and lead a more productive and independent life.

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