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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69-75

The effect of secondhand smoking on dental caries among schoolchildren in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
2 Department of Preventive Dental Science, College of Dentistry, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Abed Al-Hadi Hamasha
Department of Preventive Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, 22110.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_400_19

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Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between dental caries and exposure to secondhand smoking in mixed teeth among Saudi children. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed to target schoolchildren aged between 6 and 13 years in their mixed dentition stage. A cluster random sample of schools teaching first to sixth grades from different regions in Riyadh city was used. Data were obtained by self-reported questionnaires and clinical dental examinations. Questionnaires comprised sections related to sociodemographic, behavioral, health characteristics, and questions related to mother and father smoking status, type, and duration of smoking, and whether parents smoked inside homes or not. The clinical dental examination was based on the basic methods of the World Health Organization criteria for decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) (1997). Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, t test, and one-way analysis of variance. Results: Of the 302 participating schoolchildren, 56% were females, 72% were Saudi nationals, and 84% were of normal weight. Of the total 3246 teeth examined, DMFT was found in 1922 teeth (mean DMFT = 6.36). Only eight mothers (2.7%) were smokers, seven of them smoked inside their homes. Majority of fathers were smokers (110, 37%) and 82% smoked inside their houses. It had been found that 26% of schoolchildren were exposed to secondhand smoking. The mean DMF scores were higher among schoolchildren with smoking fathers and mothers, and the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.05). Conclusion: The DMFT among Saudi schoolchildren was 6.36. Children, who are exposed to secondhand smoking by their family members, are more likely to have dental caries in their mixed dentitions.

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