Periodontal Health Status of Visually Impaired Students Attending a Blind School
INTRODUCTION: Individuals with visual impairment are at an increased risk of developing periodontal disease. This may be due to the lack of visualization of dental plaque and bleeding gums. Hence, it is essential to provide knowledge and treatment at regular intervals to these individuals.
AIM: To evaluate the periodontal health status and the oral hygiene practices of visually impaired students attending a blind school.
MATERIALS AND METHOD: 92 visually impaired students in the age group of 6-22years were enrolled from a blind school in Udaipur. The clinical parameters evaluated included the Oral Hygiene Index–Simplified, Periodontal Screening & Recording and Sulcus depth. The oral hygiene practice was assessed by a questionnaire survey.
RESULT: When inter-group comparisons for PSR and sulcus depth using ANOVA test was performed, it was seen to be statistically significant (p=0.003 and p=0.05 respectively). Students in the 19-22year age group showed a higher OHI-S, PSR and sulcus depth score compared to the 6-8year age group.
CONCLUSION: Though these students performed regular oral hygiene practices, they had poor oral hygiene, probably due to their inability to visualize plaque. As a dental healthcare professional, it is our responsibility to provide comprehensive dental care to the visually impaired individuals.