Dental and Periodontal Health and Treatment Needs in a Mother/Child Rural Puerto Rican Population

Lydia M. López del Valle


Background: Oral research directed toward the maternal and child dyads is important because mothers are a source of dental caries pathogens and are the health behavior managers and trainers of children. The objectives of this study were: 1) to evaluate the oral health status of the mothers in a sample of 100 children aged 12 to 60 months from a rural community in Puerto Rico, and 2) to compare the children with their mothers’ oral health status. Methods: A sample of 71 women and 100 of their children, (Mean Age= 28.8 years ± 9.0, and 36.41 mos ± 18.2, respectively) were evaluated for DMFT/S and periodontal health or deft/s. A NIDCR calibrated dentist performed all dental evaluations of children and mothers utilizing NIDCR criteria. Descriptive statistics were produced. Results: Mothers´ bleeding point prevalence in at least one site was 63%; prevalence of at least one site with pocket depth of 4 to 6 mm was 37 %. Calculus prevalence was, no calculus 25%, supragingival calculus 56.7%, subgingival calculus 2.2%, supra and sub gingival calculus 16.3%. Mean Dental Indices for mothers were DMFS (16.51 ± 0.02), DMFT (12.20 ± 6.76), Caries (2.93 ± 2.86), Filling (7.07 ± 8.76), Missing (2.93 ± 4.53). Children´s Mean Dental Indices were defs (4.32 ± 9.7), deft (2.30 ± 4.0), decalcifications lesions (1.36 ± 1.9), caries (1.96 ± 3.2) and surfaces caries (3.81 ± 8.68), fillings (0.22 ± 0.83) and extracted teeth (0.043 ± 0.45). Conclusions: Significant levels of treated and untreated caries and gingival disease were observed in this sample. The importance for primary and secondary prevention, as well as treatment for periodontal and dental disease, in rural Puerto Rican communities is evident from this investigation. Supported by NIDCR Grant No. RO1 DE 12628. [P R Health Sci J 2010;1:36-39]


: mother child oral health, women periodontal health

Full Text:


Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
Founded in 1982