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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 1/2017

High prevalence of dental fluorosis among adolescents is a growing concern: a school based cross-sectional study from Southern India

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2017
Anand Verma, Bharatesh K. Shetty, Vasudeva Guddattu, Mehul K. Chourasia, Prachi Pundir



Fluorosis, caused by ingestion of excessive amount of fluoride through food or water, is a major public health problem in India. This study was undertaken to quantify the dental fluorosis burden among school going adolescents and to find factors associated with dental fluorosis in Kolar taluka, Karnataka, India.


A total of 1026 high school adolescents (12–17 years) were enrolled from different schools selected by stratified sampling method. Dental examination was done to record Dean’s fluorosis index, and socio-demographic, food consumption and oral hygiene data were recorded using a pre-tested structured questionnaire. Fluoride content was measured using Orion apparatus, and Community Fluorosis Index (CFI) was calculated from drinking water samples from various drinking sources. Multivariable analysis with generalized estimating equation (GEE) regression model was used to explore the factors associated with dental fluorosis.


Among 1026 enrolled students, 64.3% of adolescents were detected with dental fluorosis; more than 50% had either severe or moderate fluorosis according to the Dean’s Fluorosis Index and Community Fluorosis Index (CFI). The majority of affected students were from government schools. The significantly associated factors with dental fluorosis were living in study area for more than 5 years and studying in government school. A strong positive correlation between the amount of fluoride content in drinking water sample collected and CFI was observed (rho = 0.570).


Prevalence of dental fluorosis was considerably high, affecting nearly two-thirds of the students, and mainly in government schools and long-term residents of the area. Health education and community awareness for preventing fluorosis, apart from setting-up defluoridation plants or training for home based defluoridation techniques in study villages, should be considered.

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