This paper published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research describes the findings of a study that aimed at assessing the oral health status of 11-15 year old school children from Kanyakumari district. The survey focused on determining the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis along with assessing the various risk factors involved. Nearly 12 million of the 85 million tons of fluoride deposits are found in India. It is therefore not surprising that dental fluorosis is endemic in 15 states of India. The highest rates of endemicity have been reported from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
A total of 1800 children from all the nine blocks of Kanyakumari district from 6th to 10th standard were examined using type III examination. Dental fluorosis was present 15.8% of the study population and varied from as low as 1.4% to as high as 29.4% in different areas. There was a significant difference in dental fluorosis levels between rural and urban residents. The prevalence of fluorosis was higher among children who consumed piped water as compared to children who consumed groundwater.
The study found that this high presence of fluoride was attributable to high levels of fluoride in the drinking water and the study recommended the need to take up measures for defluoridation of drinking water in the high prevalence blocks to lower the burden of dental fluorosis in the community.
A copy of the paper can be accessed from this link