Background: Little is known about oral health of riverine islanders of Brahmaputra in Assam, India. Objective: To determine the prevalence of dental caries, dental pain and risk factors (alcohol, tobacco and oral hygiene practices) among riverine islanders of Brahmaputra in Assam, India. Methods: A cross-sectional (questionnaire and clinical) study was conducted among 102 study participants to obtain their socio-demographic data, consumption of alcohol, tobacco, oral hygiene practices and history of dental pain in preceding 6 months. Dental caries was clinically diagnosed using WHO modification of DMFT index. Chi-square and students 't' test was used for proportion and mean difference. Results: Consumption of alcohol was nil and 58.8 percent consumed tobacco with majority using smokeless form. The prevalence of dental caries was 59.8 percent with mean dmft - 2.3 and DMFT - 3. Males had significantly higher dmft scores (P=0.02) and absence of dental caries was observed more among females (P=0.008). About 34 percent did not brush their teeth and 71 percent experienced dental pain. Difficulty in chewing food was common impact affecting their quality of life. Majority did not do anything for dental pain citing 'no dentist nearby' and 'transportation problems' as main reasons. Conclusion: After careful consideration of the results, a Boat Dental Clinic Program (BDCP) was initiated to overcome the barrier of accessibility thereby providing oral health services at their doorstep. BDCP was planned based on the prevalent epidemiology of oral diseases, cultural factors and available resources.
|Journal||Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes