Oral morbidity and associated factors in Chilean preschoolers and schoolchildren: A preliminary review.
Currently, the most prevalent oral pathologies in Chile are dental caries, periodontal diseases, and dentomaxillary anomalies, with dental caries being considered the most prevalent in childhood and a public health problem. In Chile, research on and diagnosis of these diseases in preschoolers and schoolchildren are varied over time, but there is no review of the existing studies relating these pathologies to the most common risk factors, such as socioeconomic level, rurality, and nutritional status. The objective of this preliminary review is to assess oral morbidity in preschoolers and schoolchildren associated with risk factors in Chile. A national study found that the prevalence of caries is 16.8% at two years, 49.6% at four years, 70.4% at six years, 62.5% at 12 years, and 73.9% at 15 years. In relation to the severity of caries, it found a DMFT of 0.5 at two years, a DMFT of 2.3 at 4 years, and a DMFT of 3.7 at six years in temporary dentition. In permanent dentition, that the same study found a DMFT of 0.15 at six years, a DMFT of 1.9 at 12 years, and a DMFT of 3.0 at 15 years. Regarding gingivitis, it found a prevalence of 32.6% at two years, 45% at four years, 55.1% at six years, and 66.9% at 12 years. As for dentomaxillary anomalies, 33.3% presented some degree of anomaly at four years, 38.3% at six years, and 53% at 12 years. Despite the above, there are various studies in specific localities that have found a higher prevalence and severity of oral diseases. However, it is necessary to carry out a systematic evaluation to determine the prevalence and severity for each of the most prevalent oral diseases, as well as to identify the risk factors for the incidence of said diseases.