Diseases and conditions falsely linked with “nylon teeth” myth: a cross sectional study of Tanzanian adults

  • Febronia K. Kahabuka Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Dentistry Dept of Orthodontics, Paedodontics & Community Dentistry
  • Emeria A. Mugonzibwa Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Dentistry
  • Samwel Mwalutambi Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Dentistry
  • Emil N. Kikwilu Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Dentistry
Keywords: myth, tooth-buds, nylon-teeth, tooth-gouging, Tanzania

Abstract

Background: Different communities associate children’s ailments with their developmental milestones and they have beliefs on a variety of causes of the ailments. The objective of this study was to determine the diseases and conditions falsely linked with “nylon teeth” myth among Tanzanian adults.

Methods: A cross sectional cluster study was conducted in five zones of Tanzania. A total of 200 individuals from each region stratified by age and sex were targeted. Study subjects included adults of child bearing age, elders, health care workers, teachers and traditional healers. A structured questionnaire was used to inquire for the demographic characteristics of the participants as well as diseases and conditions falsely linked with the nylon teeth myth.

Results: A total of 1,359 people participated in the study. Of the total participants, 262 (19.3%) reported nylon teeth myth to exist in their locality. The main symptoms that were falsely linked with nylon teeth myth were diarrhoea (83.5%), long standing fevers (81.2%) and difficult in sucking (76.7%). Respondents less likely to falsely link nylon teeth myth with various diseases and conditions were residents in southern regions. They linked nylon teeth myth with diarrhoea (OR=0.29, CI=0.14-0.63), fevers (OR=0.38, CI=0.18-0.80), cough (OR=0.38, CI=0.16-0.94), stunting (OR=0.24, CI=0.10-0.58), excessive crying (OR=0.19, CI=0.09-0.40) and difficult sucking (OR=0.35 CI=0.17-0.70). Males linked the myth with stunting (OR=0.57, CI= 0.34-0.98) and excessive crying (OR 0.431, CI=0.24-0.78). The more educated respondents linked the myth with long standing cough (OR=2.068, CI=1.11-3.84) and stunting (OR=2.07, CI=1.10-3.76). The health care workers less likely linked nylon teeth with excessive crying (OR=0.37, CI=0.15-0.96) and difficult sucking (OR=0.29, CI=0.11-0.81).

Conclusion: Diarrhoea, fevers and difficult in sucking were the symptoms most frequently linked with nylon teeth myth. Linking of the symptoms and the myth was more common among respondents from northern regions, non – medics, males and the more educated ones. Educational and behavioural change intervention against the diseases frequently falsely linked with nylon teeth myth is recommended to control the myth.

 

Author Biographies

Febronia K. Kahabuka, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Dentistry Dept of Orthodontics, Paedodontics & Community Dentistry
Associate Professor at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Department of Orthodontics, Paedodontics & Community Dentistry
Emeria A. Mugonzibwa, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Dentistry
Lecturer and Head, Department of Orthodontics, Paedodontics & Community Dentistry
Samwel Mwalutambi, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Dentistry
Postgraduate Student, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Emil N. Kikwilu, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Dentistry
Associate Professor at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
School of Dentistry
Department of Orthodontics, Paedodontics and Community Dentistry
Published
2015-04-04
How to Cite
KahabukaF. K., MugonzibwaE. A., MwalutambiS., & KikwiluE. N. (2015). Diseases and conditions falsely linked with “nylon teeth” myth: a cross sectional study of Tanzanian adults. Tanzania Journal of Health Research, 17(2). https://doi.org/10.4314/thrb.v17i2.7
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1821-9241
print ISSN: 1821-6404