Background: Periodontal diseases are common in children, adolescents and adults. It affects the tissues that make up the periodontium. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of periodontal diseases and associated risk factors in children, presenting to UBTH. Materials and Methods: Study participants were children aged 8-16years who presented to the Paediatric Dental clinic. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire on sociodemographics, oral and general health behavior. Oral cleanliness, gingival and periodontal health were assessed using the Simplified oral health index (OHI-S), Gingival index and Community periodontal index of treatment needs (CPITN). Results: Seventy children participated, the highest proportion (40%) of the participants, were within 8-10 years of age, more males (52.9%), 51.4% attending secondary and 44.3% were from high socio-economic status. Toothbrush and paste (91.4%) was the predominant cleaning agents, many brushed once a day (68.6%), pain (58.6%) most frequent reason for dental visit. The prevalence of gingivitis was 82.9%. Majority had CPITN score of 2 (75.7%) indicating periodontal disease but none had periodontitis. There was an association between sexes and cleaning agents used (P= 0.025), socioeconomic status and reasons for dental visits (P= 0.018). An association exists between the presence of systemic illness and S-OHI status, Gingival index and CPITN (P= 0.001; 0.001; 0.017) respectively. Conclusions: Prevalence of periodontal disease was high, with a need for professional cleaning and oral health education. Risk factors were sex, socioeconomic status, use of cleaning agents; dental visits and systemic illness were significantly associated with gingivitis.
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