Prevalence and distribution of gingivitis-periodontitis in children and adolescents. Epidemiological data as a base for risk group selection.
The aim of the present study is to analyze the prevalence and distribution of gingivitis and periodontitis in children and adolescents and thereby try to find guidelines for developing preventive programmes and selection of risk individuals. Gingival and periodontal data from 500 children, 100 children in each of the following age groups, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years, constituted the material. About 50 per cent of the 3-year-olds and more or less all the children in the older age groups had visible plaque. The corresponding figures concerning gingival inflammation were 35 per cent of the 3-year-olds and 65 - 97 per cent of the older children and the adolescents. Pathologically deepend pockets were found in 17 per cent in the 15-year-olds and in 21 per cent in the 20-year-olds. Four individuals in the 15- and 20-year old groups showed clear signs of periodontitis. When the distribution of gingival inflammation and periodontal disease within the respective age groups was studied it was frequently found that a small number of children showed pronounud symptoms of disease. When the distribution of gingival inflammation within the dentition was analyzed it was found that in the primary dentition the highest prevalence of gingivitis was found at the lingual surfaces of the lower molars and the buccal surfaces of the upper molars. In the permanent dentition the highest prevalence of gingivitis was found on the molars of the upper and lower jaw. The prevalence of gingivitis increased on the proximal surfaces with increasing age. Concerning pathologically deepend pockets the occurrence in the 15-20-year-olds was restricted to the mesial surface of the first permanent molars.