Title Children With Poor Academic Performance Have A Higher Caries Risk
Clinical Question Does a primary-age child’s academic performance level serve as an indicator for the child’s oral health status?
Clinical Bottom Line There is a statistically significant (p<0.001) relationship between a child’s academic performance and caries risk. Children with a poor academic performance have a higher risk of developing caries and have poor oral health.
Best Evidence  
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
25206152Garg/2012600 primary and nursery school children aged 3-5 years oldCross-sectional
Key resultsFor primary school-aged children (n=600), a low academic performance score had a statistically significant (p<0.001) association with a high caries risk. Students were divided into three academic groups: excellent (>95% marks), average (50-95% marks), below average (<50% marks), with a statistically significant (p<0.001) difference between all groups except between the excellent and average groups. The average dft score for the excellent group was 1.56 ± 2.5, the average group 2.05 ± 2.8, and the below average group 4.47 ± 2.7. These results show that children in the “below average” academic group had noticeably a higher risk of developing caries, giving further support of the association between academic performance and oral health status.
Evidence Search “academic performance” [Mesh] AND “caries risk” [Mesh] This article was found under “Similar Articles in PubMed”, so there were no specific MeSH terms used to find this article.
Comments on
The Evidence
Validity: This cross-sectional study utilized stratified random sampling to get an even dispersal of children based on gender and socioeconomic status. The sample size (n=600) was also relatively large enough to apply the results to the general population. The caries status of each child was recorded with a dft index (decayed, filled teeth) after the examiners used a visual examination (mirror, probe, illumination) to detect these oral health problems. Perspective: Long-term studies should be performed to see if this association between poor academic performance and poor oral health continues with older-aged children. The effect of parental education level on these results might also need to be a considered factor, as it could have contributed to these results. However, the results of this study are still applicable and can still be used to encourage and educate children and their parents of the importance of maintaining good oral health.
Applicability The results found in this study can be used to help educate pediatric patients and their parents on the impact oral health can have on a child’s overall well-being including influencing academic performance. School administrators, as well as teachers and school nurses may find this information useful educating students about their oral health in an school/academic environment.
Specialty (Public Health) (General Dentistry) (Pediatric Dentistry)
Keywords Academic performance, caries risk
ID# 3009
Date of submission 03/11/2016
E-mail davisam@livemail.uthscsa.edu
Author Alyse Davis
Co-author(s) e-mail
Faculty mentor David Cappelli, DMD, MPH, PhD
Faculty mentor e-mail cappelli@uthscsa.edu
Basic Science Rationale
(Mechanisms that may account for and/or explain the clinical question, i.e. is the answer to the clinical question consistent with basic biological, physical and/or behavioral science principles, laws and research?)
None available
Comments and Evidence-Based Updates on the CAT
None available