Kiren.J, D. Ganapathy, A.Bennis
Saveetha Dental College, India.
Malocclusion is one of the most common dental problems in mankind. Fishing is an occupation associated with uneven diet, strain, drunkenness, tobacco use, and deleterious habits. Fishermen have lower economic status and their illiteracy adds to their poor oral hygiene, which may influence their general and oral health. The external factors like diet, quality of dental hygiene, and environmental factors have an effect on malocclusion occurrence.
The objective of the study was to assess the knowledge, awareness on malocclusion and the malocclusion status among the adolescents of the coastal fishing community Chennai.
A survey was carried out to assess the malocclusion status and a questionnaire was administered to assess, the knowledge and awareness of malocclusion among the adolescents of the coastal fishing community. The cross sectional study was carried out among 150 adolescent fishermen and women (age group of 15-23) who were chosen at random using a convenient sampling technique. The study involved two parts, the first being, clinical examination to determine the status of malocclusion, following with a questionnaire which was administered to them.
The results of this study show that 92% of the adolescents were unaware of the risk factors of malocclusion. 55.3% of the total respondents were uneducated. A high percentage of the adolescents 95.3% were unaware that malocclusion could be prevented and treated. About 84.6% of the questionnaire respondents were unaware about malocclusion and its causes. There is a significant (p=0.001) correlation between the various demographic factors and awareness on malocclusion. 29% of the study population had class I malocclusion, followed by class II (15%) and class III (12%). The most common type of malocclusion that was encountered was rotation (23%) and crowding (22%).
The results of the study show that there is lack of knowledge and awareness on malocclusion among the adolescents of the fishing community. It shows that there is a need for emphasis on regular visits to the dentist, dental camps and incorporation of dental health education in the school curriculum to promote dental hygiene and prevent malocclusion among the adolescents of the fishing community.