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Revista odontológica mexicana

Print version ISSN 1870-199X


ARRIETA-VARGAS, Lizeth Montserrat et al. Prevalence of dental caries and associated risk factors: a cross-sectional study among preparatory (high school) students from Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico. Rev. Odont. Mex [online]. 2019, vol.23, n.1, pp.31-41. ISSN 1870-199X.


Tooth decay is the most important oral health problem affecting almost the whole population. Childhood and youth are crucial stages to acquire habits of proper oral hygiene to prevent damage to the oral cavity in adulthood.


To measure the prevalence of dental caries and associated risk factors in students of middle education (preparatory school) at the Autonomous University of Guerrero (UAGro).


Cross-sectional study including students from three preparatory schools (high schools) in Chilpancingo, Guerrero. A self-administered questionnaire collected sociodemographic and dental hygiene information; the presence of caries was defined according to the DMFT index (decayed, filled, and missing teeth). Odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals were estimated as measures of association for risk factors. Estimated associations in the multivariate analysis were adjusted by cluster effect.


The prevalence of caries was 91% (1,300/1,424); 18% (245/1,424) of students had filled teeth and 5% (67/1,424) had one or more missing teeth. A DMFT index score of 5.31 was found. Two factors were associated with the presence of caries: intake of snacks, sweets, and soft drinks (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.45-4.09) and little attention to oral health (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.01-2.18).


The caries prevalence is in the range of international reports. The two factors associated with tooth decay should guide the actions to be implemented for promoting oral health among UAGro students of middle education.

Keywords : Dental caries; DMFT index; students and middle education; risk factors.

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