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Prevalence of oral fluorosis in Luangwa district of Lusaka Province, Zambia

Gabriel Mpundu, Musonda Makasa, Crecious Phiri, Eby Aluckal, Abraham Kunnilathu

Abstract


Background: A fluorosis is a chronic form of hypoplasia of the dental enamel initiated by consumption water with high fluoride content during the time of tooth formation. Excessive ingestion of fluoride can result in fluorosis (mottling) of enamel which presents as opaque or white areas, lines, or flecks in the enamel surface. These teeth are more prone to dental caries and can be cosmetically disfiguring when they occur on anterior teeth. In spite of this fact, no study has been conducted to measure the prevalence of fluorosis in Luangwa district of the Eastern Province of Zambia. Aim: The study was to determine the prevalence of fluorosis and its treatment needs among the population affected in Luangwa district in the Eastern Province of Zambia. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted with outreach descriptive survey and was conducted on patients that attended dental care during the mobile hospital outreach that was conducted in Luangwa district of Lusaka Province of Zambia. Results: Out of the total of 195 subjects examined, 56 (28.8%) patients were seen in Luangwa district clinic, out of which 1 (1.78%) had fluorosis. In Mwavi, at the secondary school, 71 (36.4%) were seen and 29 (40.84%) had fluorosis. At Luangwa Secondary School, a total of 68 (34.87% of the total subjects) were examined and out of that 7 (10.29%) had fluorosis. An aggregated total of 37 (18.97%) subjects of the 195 seen had fluorosis. Conclusion: The survey could elicit the presence of fluorosis in the Luangwa district of Lusaka Province. The baseline data suggest that the subjects who were seen from the clinic in the cannabidiol exhibited low levels (1.78%) of fluorosis because the water they consumed was treated by the local authority as compared to high prevalence of fluorosis in other sites outside the district where the water source was primarily river and wells which lacked treatment. Clinical Significance: This pilot study suggests the need to conduct a larger research study on the prevalence and impact of fluorosis in the population. This would help to plan future upstream dental public health programs.

Keywords


Dental patients; dental public health; oral fluorosis; outreach camp; preventive dentistry; public health; survey

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