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27.09.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2017

Clinical Oral Investigations 5/2017

Dental caries, fluorosis, oral health determinants, and quality of life in adolescents

Clinical Oral Investigations > Ausgabe 5/2017
N. R. Aimée, A. J. van Wijk, M. Maltz, M. M. Varjão, H. D. Mestrinho, J. C. Carvalho



This study aimed to assess the extent to which dental caries and fluorosis, in addition to sociodemographic and oral health behavior determinants, impact the oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL) of adolescents.


All adolescents attending from sixth to eighth grades in the Region of Itapoã, Federal District of Brazil (n = 1122), were screened, and 618 10–15-year-olds were selected. Parents answered a questionnaire about their family’s socioeconomic status. Adolescents answered a questionnaire about demographic and oral health behavior determinants in addition to the Child Perception Questionnaire.


Cavitated dentine lesions and fluorosis were observed in 39.5 and 48.5 %, respectively. The outcome was a high score on OHRQoL (median split >9). The prevalence of adolescents with at least one domain being impacted “often” or “every day/almost every day” was 34.8 %. Adolescents with tooth brushing frequency ≤once per day and with moderate or severe cavitated dentine lesions reported a significant impact on their OHRQoL (p = 0.002; p = 0.001). Fluorosis did not impact daily life performances (p = 0.545).


Increased impact on OHRQoL was related to the severity of cavitated dentine lesions, but fluorosis resulting from combined fluoride exposure from early ages was not of concern for the adolescents.

Clinical relevance

Combined fluoride exposure from fluoridated drinking water, consumption of food prepared with fluoridated water, and daily twice brushing with conventional fluoride toothpaste from early ages may be recommended to control caries progression at population level without impact on OHRQoL. This information is particularly relevant for supporting oral health police for disadvantaged populations.

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