Self reported behavioral and emotional difficulties in relation to dentition status among school going children of Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad, India.


BACKGROUND: Oral health has strong biological, psychological, and social projections, which influence the quality of life. Thus, developing a common vision and a comprehensive approach to address children’s social, emotional, and behavioral health needs is an integral part of the child and adolescent’s overall health. AIM: To assess and compare the behavior and emotional difficulties among 15-year-olds and to correlate it with their dentition status based on gender. Study Settings and Design: A cross-sectional questionnaire study among 15-year-old schoolgoing children in six private schools in Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad, India. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The behavior and emotional difficulties were assessed using self-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The dentition status was recorded by the criteria given by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Basic Oral Health Survey Assessment Form (1997). STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Independent Student’s t-test was used for comparison among the variables. Correlation between scales of SDQ and dentition status was done using Karl Pearson’s correlation coefficient method. RESULTS: Girls reported more emotional problems and good prosocial behavior and males had more conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems, and total difficulty problems. Total decayed-missing-filled teeth (DMFT) and decayed component were significantly and positively correlated with total difficulty, emotional symptom, and conduct problems scale while missing component was correlated with the hyperactivity scale and filled component with prosocial behavior. CONCLUSION: DMFT and its components showed an association with all scales of SDQ except for peer problem scale. Thus, the oral health of children was significantly influenced by behavioral and emotional difficulties; so, changes in the mental health status will affect the oral health of children.