Oral Health Status of a Sample of Prisoners in Enugu: A Disadvantaged Population

  • EA Akaji
  • MO Ashiwaju
Keywords: Dental needs, Periodontal status, Prisoners


Background: The aim of this study is to determine the oral health status of a sample of prisoners at the Federal Prison in Enugu. The health status of inmates in the prison system needs to be incorporated into data and reports that summarize the state of the nation’s health; this will encourage the provision of health care to prisoners and foster development of the nation’s health. Subjects and Methods: The study involved 230 inmates of the Federal Prison in Enugu. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to gather data on the demographic characteristics of the participants, social habits, methods and frequency of cleaning the mouth. Intraoral examination was carried out to determine caries and periodontal statuses employing decayed missing and filled teeth (DMFT) index and community periodontal index of treatment needs respectively. The proportions of participants with other soft and hard tissue conditions were also recorded. Frequency distribution tables with mean values were generated for categorical variables and non-parametric test was used to relate DMFT values with frequency of cleaning the mouth. Results: Among the participants, 67.0% (154/230) had decayed teeth or tooth missing due to caries. None of the decayed teeth was restored yielding a 0.0% (0/230) index of restorative provision. Spearman correlation (rho) between ranks of DMFT and frequency of cleaning the mouth was −0.32 (95%CI=−0.43 to −0.19). 5.2% (12/230) participants had community periodontal index (CPI) score of 0 and 94.8% (218/230) had CPI of 1, 2, 3 or 4. Also, 56.1% (129/230) had extrinsic stains on their teeth and 17.3% (40/230) presented with fractured teeth. Conclusion: More than half of the participants were affected by dental caries and periodontal health was compromised in the majority of them. Measures to improve their oral health and the establishment of dental health-care facility in the institution are strongly encouraged.

Keywords: Dental needs, Periodontal status, Prisoners


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2141-9248