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Parental perceptions of dental health and need for treatment in children with epilepsy: a multicenter cross-sectional study

Authors Subki AH, Mukhtar AM, Saggaf OM, Ali RA, Khalifa KA, Al-Lulu DM, Alsallum MS, Bokhary DH, Baabdullah AM, Kassar SM, Jan BM, Hindi MM, Jan MM

Received 22 May 2018

Accepted for publication 10 August 2018

Published 29 November 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 165—172


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Roosy Aulakh

Ahmed Hussein Subki,1 Abdel Moniem Mukhtar,2 Omar M Saggaf,1 Ragaa A Ali,3 Khalid A Khalifa,3 Dalia M Al-Lulu,3 Mohammed Saad Alsallum,1 Diyaa H Bokhary,1 Ayman M Baabdullah,1 Sulaiman M Kassar,1 Basil M Jan,4 Muhab M Hindi,1 Mohammed M Jan1

1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 3Batterjee Medical College, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 4Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Background: Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder in childhood. However, there have been limited studies on its impact on the oral health of affected children. Our study aimed to assess the oral health of children with epilepsy in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as perceived by their mothers.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in three hospitals. We included children 2–18 years old with physician-confirmed epilepsy diagnosis. We assessed parental perception of dental status and need for dental care using a standardized questionnaire that was completed by the mothers. To adjust for potential confounding variables, we used univariate and multivariate logistic regression.
Results: We included 96 children with epilepsy in our study. Their mean age was 6.4±3.4 years. In 55.2% (n=53), dental status was rated as bad, and in 84.4% (n=81) a need for dental care was expressed. Cerebral palsy (OR 5.06, 95% CI 1.28–19.99; P=0.021), motor disability (OR 6.41, 95% CI 1.12–36.73; P=0.037), referral from a pediatric neurology clinic to a dentist (OR 10.755, 95% CI 3.290–35.151; P<0.001), and irregular brushing of teeth (OR 5.397, 95% CI 1.536–18.961; P=0.009) were significantly associated with increased risk of perceived bad dental status. Perception of the child as being overweight (OR 0.117, 95% CI 0.034–0.400; P=0.001) was significantly associated with decreased risk of perceived bad dental status. Motor disability (OR 5.73, 95% CI 1.64–20.04; P=0.006) was significantly associated with increased parental expression of need for dental care.
Conclusion: In most children with epilepsy, perceived dental status was bad and there was a high expressed need for dental care. Interventions to improve the dental health of children with epilepsy should focus on those with cerebral palsy and motor disability.

Keywords: oral, dental, teeth, hygiene, health, epilepsy, child

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