Scientists alarmed by Gozitan dental hygiene

A group of scientists have stated that Gozitans do not brush their teeth frequently or effectively enough.

According to an oral health study of the Gozitan Community published today in a scientific journal, Xjenza, 332 Gozitan residents were studied for a three-month period in 14 different localities.

Scientists said that the Gozitan community shows a high level of unmet dental treatment needs. This underscores the need for the provision of better dental services in Gozo, re-orientation of existing services to focus on prevention and the introduction of evidence-based preventive strategies in school-children.

The scientists also said that the oral hygiene in Gozitan patients is not completely effective as a result of days of ineffective tooth brushing.

78% of the patients required non-urgent treatment, 19% required routine maintenance and 3% required urgent care. The latter were immediately referred for emergency treatment at Gozo General Hospital or Mater Dei Hospital.

The Mobile Dental Unit (MDU) was used for this study. The MDU is a project designed by the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the University of Malta and launched in September 2015. This unit uses a truck converted into a dental clinic and is equipped to function as a stand-alone clinic on wheels.

In this study, 182 patients were female (55%) and 150 (45%) were male. The median age was 36 years. Smokers made up 8% of the participants. The full study may be accessed here. It was conducted by Anne-Marie Agius, Ethel Vento Zahra, Emad Alzoubi, Maria Luisa Gainza-Cirauqui, Gabriella Gatt and Nikolai Attard.