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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-13

A study to assess the prevalence of dental myths and misconceptions among the rural population of Daman


1 Tutor, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vaidik Dental College and Research Centre, Daman, Daman and Diu, India
2 Final Year BDS Student, Vaidik Dental College and Research Centre, Daman, Daman and Diu, India
3 Reader, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vaidik Dental College and Research Centre, Daman, Daman and Diu, India

Date of Submission03-Mar-2022
Date of Acceptance07-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication24-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nilima Vaghela
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Vaidik Dental College and Research Centre, Daman, Daman and Diu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpcdr.ijpcdr_7_22

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  Abstract 


Introduction: It is important to know about the myths, especially in India, where general and oral health is embroiled in various myths.
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of dental myths regarding oral health among the rural community of Daman.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a rural area of Daman. A total of 500 individuals were included; data were collected using a pretested and validated 16-term questionnaire, including demographic data and questions regarding dental myths. Data obtained were statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics. Chi-square test is the statistical analysis used.
Results: Almost all the participants believed in one or more dental myths. Majority of the participants, i.e., 80%, believed that oral cancer is not commonly found in older age group. About 92% of the participants felt that there was no necessity to consult a dentist in the absence of pain. Around 59% believed that extraction of the teeth of upper jaw causes loss of vision. There was an equally contradicting notion about bleeding gums while brushing.
Conclusion: Various dental myths still lurk in the minds of the population; to discourage unhealthy practices, we the health professionals have to provide intensive health education and promote the adoption of healthy practices. It would be prudent to familiarize professionals with these myths and beliefs as they act as barriers to seeking treatment.

Keywords: Age, beliefs, dental myths, gender, oral health


How to cite this article:
Vaghela N, Lajpatrai A, Dixit A. A study to assess the prevalence of dental myths and misconceptions among the rural population of Daman. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res 2022;9:11-3

How to cite this URL:
Vaghela N, Lajpatrai A, Dixit A. A study to assess the prevalence of dental myths and misconceptions among the rural population of Daman. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 17];9:11-3. Available from: https://www.ijpcdr.org/text.asp?2022/9/1/11/340846




  Introduction Top


Sociocultural factors, false traditional beliefs, lack of proper education, and nonscientific knowledge are responsible for seeding myths in the mind of people. In dentistry too, there are various beliefs among the population due to the failure of Indian education to inculcate rational thinking. Hence, myths like this become more prevalent.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] In India, dental myths are very common. These myths can at times be detrimental and cause various degrees of disabilities, hence have to be tackled at the bud stage.[6],[7] Oral disease, being the fourth-most expensive disease to treat, has caused global burden in underprivileged groups of developing and developed countries.[8],[9],[10],[11] The major contributory factors are sociocultural and traditional beliefs, stress, anxiety, and illiteracy.[5] These myths are passed on from one generation to another generation, thus causing deep-rooted emotion. People often go to quacks when symptoms arise rather than to a dentist enhancing false beliefs. Various myths have been present since the past. Poor oral health has inflicted intimidations, hampered social relations, led to chronic diseases, and brought upon high financial costs. Hence, adequate measures have to be taken to educate people regarding dental care. The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of dental myths among the lower economic groups of Daman district between the age groups of 20 and 60 years.


  Methodology Top


A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted in a rural area of Daman, India. The houses that were locked were not considered as a part of the study. All procedures performed in the study were conducted in accordance with the ethics standards given in 1964 Declaration of Helsinki, as revised in 2013. The study proposal was submitted for approval and clearance was obtained from the ethical committee of our institution. A written informed consent was obtained from each participant. The study subjects were selected based on convenience sampling. The following inclusion and exclusion criteria were considered for the study. A 16-item structured, closed-ended questionnaire was developed for the study [Table 1].[1] There was no skip pattern, and all the questions were to be answered. Questions 1–5 were based on myths regarding dental caries, questions 6–9 were about myths regarding tobacco and oral cancer, and questions 10–16 were related to dental problem and treatment-related dental myths. The data were collected for a period of 6 months.
Table 1: Responses of the participants regarding dental myth

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The data were fed into SPSS version 17 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Ill, USA). Descriptive analysis of the data was done.


  Results Top


A total of 250 houses were covered, and 500 study subjects were included in the study. Among the 500 study subjects aged between 20 and 60 years who participated in the study, 39% were male and 61% were female. The study subjects considered were from rural community of Daman. Since it was a door-to-door study, the number of female participants was more as majority of them were homemakers and the number of male participants was less as they were out working. About 61.5% of the participants believed that decay in the milk teeth needs to be treated, while 55.5% of the participants had a misconception that placing cloves on the carious tooth relieved pain. Almost 49.5% of the participants informed that they will opt for extraction of teeth than saving it. Majority of the participants, i.e., 80%, believed that oral cancer is not commonly found in older age group. More than half of the study subjects, i.e., 72%, agreed that all dental treatments were painful, while 90% of the participants felt that there was no necessity to consult a dentist in the absence of pain. Around 59% believed that extraction of the teeth of upper jaw causes loss of vision, while 48.5% of the participants disagreed that scaling resulted in loose teeth. There was an equally contradicting notion about bleeding gums while brushing. Almost 42.5% considered it normal whereas 42% believed otherwise. Around 68.5% of them believed that usage of hard bristled brushes does not whiten the teeth [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Comparison of prevalence of dental myth “if I am not in pain, I do not need to visit the dentist” among different age groups: (a) horizontal axis depicts age groups; (b) vertical axis depicts mean value

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  Discussion Top


The deep-seated irrational thoughts and beliefs among the masses of rural community make them less privileged and unfortunate to appreciate the advancements in dental profession. According to the present study, 35.5% of study subjects believed that decayed milk teeth required no treatment, as they will eventually exfoliate. Studies conducted in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and Nagpur, Maharashtra, showed that around 49.5% of the study participants believed in the analgesic action of cloves in decayed teeth.[11],[12],[13],[14],[15] It was found that almost 55.5% of the participants in the present study most often resort to home remedies and “treatment by quacks” rather than consulting a dental profession. In the current study, 49.5% of the individuals believed that extraction of teeth is better than saving it, which was higher than the study conducted by Mythri and Kumar.[7] This shows that people of the rural community are less aware of the existence of other treatment modalities to save a compromised teeth. The question of affordability and the number of appointments can be regarded as the possible limiting factor for opting for such advanced care. The role of print and digital media in creating awareness of the ill effects of tobacco should be highly appreciated. In the present study, almost 72% believed that all dental treatments were painful, whereas the same percentage of study subjects also believed that extraction of maxillary teeth leads to loss of vision. This was in accordance with the study conducted by Yadav et al. and much higher than the study conducted by Mythri and Kumar, respectively.[6],[7] In the current study, 42.5% of the study subjects believed that bleeding of gums was normal during brushing, which is higher than the study conducted by Raina et al.[4] A hand full number of participants believed that bleeding gums is an effective way of losing bad blood from the body, while 42% of the participants believed that bleeding gums were a result of underlying pathology. According to the present study, 68.5% of the study subjects disagreed that brushing with hard bristles whitens their teeth, which was much lower than the study conducted by Sharma et al.[1] A small number of population believe that using hard bristle can damage the tooth and gums, but some of them believe that the use of hard bristles is an effective method of tooth whitening. Hence, adequate awareness must be created among people. Further qualitative research studies including a large sample size is essential to circumvent the limitation of the current study, and more research is needed to validate the results of the study.


  Conclusion Top


The results of the current study state that even though there are several measures to educate the patients regarding health problem, myths still prevail among the common people. The best way to overcome it is to conduct a targeted program to spread scientific dental practices. Introducing basic principles and concepts regarding oral hygiene of teeth as a part of education campaigns to primary classes can curb these myths at grass-root level.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Sharma R, Mallaiah P, Margabandhu S, Umashankar GK, Verma S. Dental myth, fallacies and misconception and its association with socio-dental impact locus of control scale. International Journal of Preventive and Public Health Sciences 2015;1:15.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Kiran GB, Pachava S, Sanikommu S, Simha BV, Srinivas R, Rao VN. Evaluation of dent-o-myths among adult population living in a rural region of Andhra Pradesh, India: A cross-sectional study. J Dr NTR Univ Health Sci 2016;5:130-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Yadav P, Shavi GR, Agarwal M, Choudhary P, Singh D. Myths and misconceptions about dentistry. A cross-sectional study. Arch Dent Med Res 2015;1:14-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Raina SA, Jain PS, Warhadpande MM. Myths and taboos in dentistry. Int J Res Med Sci 2017;5:1936-42.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Singh SV, Tripathi A, Akbar Z, Chandra S, Tripathi A. Prevalence of dental myths, oral hygiene methods and tobacco habits in an ageing North Indian rural population. Gerodontology 2012;29:e53-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Khan SA, Dawani N, Bilal S. Perceptions and myths regarding oral health care amongst strata of low socio economic community in Karachi, Pakistan. J Pak Med Assoc 2012;62:1198-203.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Mythri H, Kumar RS. Perceived myths about oral health in India. Indian J Dent Res 2015;26:333.  Back to cited text no. 7
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8.
Singh S, Sirodhar G, Jain R, Dupare R. Myths related to dental decay and tobacco consumption: Debunked. Int J Prev Clin Dent Res 2016;3:9-14.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Mamdani B. Medical myths. Indian J Med Ethics 2008;6(2):14-18.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Renu M, Sabhya J, Shameen H, Sindhu P, Vaishnavi D, Anjana AP, et al. Prevalence of dental myth and misconceptions among the rural population of Mangaluru city: A cross sectional study. Austin J Dent 2018;5:1120.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Sheiham A, Steele J. Does the condition of the mouth and teeth affect the ability to eat certain foods, nutrient and dietary intake and nutritional status amongst older people? Public Health Nutr 2001;4:797-803.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Dörfer C, Benz C, Aida J, Campard G. The relationship of oral health with general health and NCDs: A brief review. Int Dent J 2017;67 Suppl 2:14-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Laine MA. Effect of pregnancy on periodontal and dental health. Acta Odontol Scand 2002;60:257-64.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Abariga SA, Whitcomb BW. Periodontitis and gestational diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2016;16:344.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Boggess KA, Lieff S, Murtha AP, Moss K, Beck J, Offenbacher S. Maternal periodontal disease is associated with an increased risk for preeclampsia. Obstet Gynecol 2003;101:227-31.  Back to cited text no. 15
    


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