Soluble fluoride levels in drinking water-a major risk factor of dental fluorosis among children in Bongo community of Ghana
Background: The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between fluoride ions in drinking water and the incidence of dental fluorosis in some endemic areas of Bongo District, Ghana.
Method: Two hundred children were randomly selected from various homes and taken through a questionnaire. Their teeth were examined for the
detection of dental fluorosis using the Dean’s specific index. Samples of their permanent sources of water were taken for the determination of soluble fluoride levels by SPADNS spectrophotometric method.
Results: The study revealed that the incidence of dental fluorosis among the children in the main Bongo township was 63.0%, whereas villages outside the township recorded less than 10.0%. The respondents from the various communities had similar age group, educational background, sources of drinking water, oral hygiene habits and usage of oral health products, p-value > 0.05. However, there were statistically significant differences in the cases of dental fluorosis and fluoride ions among the communities, p-value <0.05. The fluoride ion concentration in the Bongo
township was above the WHO requirement of 1.50 ppm, whereas the nearby villages showed acceptable fluoride levels. Statistically, there was no significant relationship between the presence of dental fluorosis
and the other characteristics, except the age group and fluoride ion concentration of the area.
Conclusion: These findings strongly support the association between the dental fluorosis and the high fluoride levels in the underground water of Bongo community. Therefore, policy makers need to consider an alternative source of drinking water for the area.
Keywords: Fluorosis, Fluoride, Drinking water, Risk factor, Children
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