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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 199-203

Oral lesions and dental status of autistic children in Yemen: A case-control study

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnosis, Sana'a University, Sana'a, Yemen
2 Department of Dental Surgery, Al-Kuwait Teaching Hospital, Sana'a, Yemen

Correspondence Address:
Sadeq Ali Al-Maweri
PO Box - 12721, Sana'a
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.149040

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Purpose: This study aimed to assess the prevalence of oral lesions among children with autism in Sana'a City, Yemen, and to evaluate their dental status. Patients and Methods: This case-control study included 42 children with autism, aged between 5 and 16 years, and 84 age- and gender-matched healthy children as controls. Oral lesions were assessed based on standardized criteria according to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. Dental caries, gingival health, and oral hygiene status were assessed using dmft/DMFT index, Gingival Index (GI), and Plaque Index (PI), respectively. Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney's test were used to compare the groups. Results: Compared to controls, children with autism revealed higher proportion of fistulae (9.5% vs. 2.4%), ulcerative lesions (7.1% vs. 1.2%), gingival hyperplasia (4.8% vs. 0.0%), and cheilitis (4.8% vs. 2.4%); however, the differences were not statistically significant. The mean dmft score was significantly higher in children with autism than in controls (5.23 vs. 4.06; P < 0.001). Moreover, children with autism revealed poorer oral hygiene than controls, and the majority had gingivitis. Conclusions: Children with autism in Yemen have high prevalence of oral soft tissue lesions, caries, and gingivitis. Therefore, proper oral health education programs should be initiated and directed toward this special section of the society.

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