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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2017

Prevalence of dental caries and associated factors among 12 years old students in Eritrea

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2017
Amanuel Kidane Andegiorgish, Bizen Weldmicheal Weldemariam, Meron Mehari Kifle, Filmon Gebreysus Mebrahtu, Henos Keflom Zewde, Micheal Gebregziabhir Tewelde, Mohammed Anwar Hussen, Winta Kesete Tsegay
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12903-017-0465-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Dental caries is one of the most prevalent diseases of childhood in developing countries. However, there is a paucity of epidemiological data on the prevalence and associated factors of dental caries in Eritrea. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and associated factors of dental caries among 12 years old school children in Eritrea.


A school based cross sectional study was conducted among 225 twelve years old students in two selected schools. One school from randomly selected urban and rural subzones of the country were selected. WHO adopted questionnaire and a standard checklist were used to collect relevant data. To assess dental caries, two examiners were calibrated by a certified dentist and inter observer agreement was calculated using the Cohen’s Kappa statistic (0.82). All data analysis was done using SPSS version 20.


The prevalence of dental caries was 78%, without significant difference between males (78%) and females (79%).The mean DMFT value was 2.50 (±2.21). The decayed component contributed 98.3% of the score as it had 2.44 (±1.2) share to the mean DMFT value. The first molar was the most affected tooth with a DMFT value of 1.55 (±1.36). The mean significant caries index score (SiC) was 4.97 (±1.9) which is higher than the upper limit of SiC value of 3 set by the WHO as a global average. More than half of the respondents had never visited a dentist and out of the students who had utilized a dental health facility, 82% of visits were due to dental pain while visits for regular checkups were cited by only 6.6% of the respondents.


Dental caries was found to be a common public health problem among 12 years old Eritrean students. The prevalence of dental caries, mean DMFT and SiC scores were higher than the average score of other developing countries. Gaps in dental health service utilization, dental health practices and suboptimal water fluoride levels contribute to poor dental health among school children in Eritrea.
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