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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 3 ( May-June, 2012 ) > List of Articles


Epidemiology of Dental Caries among Adults in a Rural Area in India

Ami M Maru, Sena Narendran

Citation Information : Maru AM, Narendran S. Epidemiology of Dental Caries among Adults in a Rural Area in India. J Contemp Dent Pract 2012; 13 (3):382-388.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1155

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Published Online: 01-01-2010

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2012; The Author(s).



Data on epidemiology of dental caries of adults in rural India appear to be sparse.


The purpose of the study was to assess the oral health status and dental treatment needs of a rural Indian population.

Materials and methods

The study population consisted of 189 volunteer subjects with a mean age of 34.9 ± 14.2 years and 54% males. Decayed, missing due to caries and filled teeth (DMFT) and tooth surfaces (DMFS) assessed the dental caries experience. Structured interviews collected data on perception of health including oral health, oral hygiene practices and snacking habits.


While only 38.1% perceived themselves to be in good or very good dental health, nearly 85% felt the same about general health. The most common sugar exposure was sweetened tea; 75% consumed the beverage at least once a day. More than 80% of the subjects had untreated caries with mean DMFT and DMFS scores of 5.1 ± 3.9 and 13.8 ± 17.8, which lacked any gender differences. Dental treatment needs ranged from 16.9% two-surface fillings to 60.8% one-surface fillings; 23.8% crowns or bridges and 37.6% extractions. Those who perceived themselves to be in better oral health had significantly lower DMFT (4.0 ± 3.2 vs 5.9 ± 4.1) and DMFS (8.4 ± 11.7 vs 17.1 ± 20.0) scores (p < 0.05). A similar trend was observed between perception of general health and DMFT (4.8 ± 3.4 vs 7.0 ± 5.6) and DMFS (11.9 ± 13.7 vs 24.1 ± 30.7) scores.


Results indicate high levels of dental caries as well as dental treatment needs among the study participants.

How to cite this article

Maru AM, Narendran S. Epidemiology of Dental Caries among Adults in a Rural Area in India. J Contemp Dent Pract 2012;13(3):382-388.

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