Title: Relationships between socioeconomic backgrounds, caries associated microflora and caries experience in 12–year-olds in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2004
Abstract: Aim To present the prevalence of dental caries in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH), to estimate the levels of salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli and compare them with caries prevalence in 12-years-old children from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Study design and methods A survey was carried out in 8 cantons of the Federation of BH (FBH) and in Republic Srpska (RS) in 2004. The final sample included 560 12-year-olds. The clinical examinations focused on dental status, expressed as DMFT index, and they were carried out by one examiner, following WHO standard methodologies. Additionally, the study involved 109 12-years old children from Sarajevo, divided in three groups, based on their socioeconomic background. For measuring lactobacillus and mutans streptococci (MS) count in saliva Dentocult®LB and Dentocult®SM-Strip Mutans were used. Levels of MS and lactobacilli were expressed as a score between 0 and 3, indicating very low to very high levels of SM and lactobacilli. Results The average DMFT of the 12-year-olds was 4.16 ± 2.92. On average, 91% of the 12-year-olds were affected with dental caries. The SiC Index was 7.41 ± 3.31. Investigating the relationship between caries associated microflora and caries experience in children of different socioeconomic status showed the following: significant difference in caries prevalence was found in children with different living conditions, where children with high socioeconomic status had better oral health compared to the other two groups. For mutans streptococci, 25.7% of the children had mutans class 0, 24.8% class 1, 34.9% class 2 and 14.6% class 3. The mean DMFT for mutans class 0 was 3.50, for class 1 was 4.30, for class 2 was 5.62 and for class 3 was 6.0. For lactobacilli, 38.5% of the children had lactobacilli class 0, 25.7% class 1, 23.9% class 2 and 11.9% class 3. The mean DMFT for lactobacilli class 0 was 4.3, for class 1 was 4.9, for class 2 was 4.8 and for class 3 was 6.0. No significant differences in the level of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli were found between the groups. Conclusion There is moderate caries prevalence among BH 12-year-olds (DMFT 4,16±2,92). Caries experience varies between children with different living condition but no relation between levels of salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli and socioeconomic status of children could be found.