Sugar consumption and dental caries experience in Kenya

Citation:
Githua Macigo, F, Mutave R, Ogunbodede E, Gathece L.  2016.  Sugar consumption and dental caries experience in Kenya, 2016/04/05. International dental journal. 66

Abstract:

Introduction:There have been claims that dental caries experience and prevalence in Kenya has been increasing as a result of increased sugar consumption. A review of the literature in 1986 failed to link dental caries experience with an increase in gross national sugar consumption. Subsequently, a number of studies were conducted, necessitating further review to examine trends in dental caries experience and to relate this to changes in per capita sugar consumption.
Methods:
Studies conducted since 1980 for children 3-15 years of age were examined. Dental caries prevalence and experience for 3-5 years' (deciduous teeth) and 12 years' (permanent teeth) age groups were analysed. Calculation of per capita sugar consumption was performed using gross national annual sugar consumption for 1969-2009 national population census years.
Results:
There was a gradual increase in per capita sugar consumption, from 35.5 g/day in 1969 to 60.8 g/day in 2009. Dental caries experience in deciduous teeth for children 3-5 years of age increased from a decayed, missing and filled teeth/decayed and filled teeth (dmft/dft) index of 1.5 in the 1980s to 2.95 in the 2000s. At 12 years of age, caries experience for permanent teeth increased from a DMFT of 0.2 to a DMFT of 0.92 over the same period. Dental caries prevalence for both deciduous and permanent teeth also increased with time.
Conclusion:
These observations suggest that dental caries prevalence and experience increased with time, in parallel to an increase in per capita sugar consumption. However, a clearer understanding can be derived from longitudinal studies, based on actual household age-specific sugar consumption and dental caries incidence.

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