INTRODUCTION: The tribal communities of Kerala have been largely left out of the gains of the Kerala model of development.
AIM: The study was aimed to obtain baseline data of oral health status and treatment needs of Paniyas, in Kerala, India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A descriptive population based survey of adult Paniya belonging to index age groups of 35-44 years and 65-74 years was conducted. The study population comprised of 420 subjects drawn from three talukas by stratified cluster sampling. Modified version of WHO Oral Health Assessment Form (1997) was used to assess the oral health status.
RESULTS: Caries prevalence was 40%. The mean DMFT in the 35-44 years age group was 1.52±1.95 and in 65-74 age group it was 18.47 ± 13.10. Oral mucosal lesions were seen in 4.52% and 76.9% had periodontal disease. Tooth brushing was reported by 55.5% of the subjects. Paan chewing, with tobacco or without tobacco, habit was reported by 89.3%. Bi-variate analyses between the CPI scores and age groups showed high statistical significance. The maximum mean treatment requirement was for extraction (1.37 ± 4.01) and was observed in 65-74 age groups.
CONCLUSION: The lack of basic oral health care access is important for high oral disease burden in these populations. Efforts are to be done for basic oral health care facility to these marginal populations.
I. Valsan, Joseph, J., Chandrashekar Janakiram, and Mohamed, S., “Oral Health Status and Treatment Needs of Paniya Tribes in Kerala.”, J Clin Diagn Res, vol. 10, no. 10, pp. ZC12-ZC15, 2016.