Prevalence of root caries in relation to various risk factors in a sample of subjects aged (25-64) years in Erbil city: A cross sectional study


  • Tara Kamal Talib Dentist, Khanzad Teaching Hospital, Erbil, Iraq.
  • Vian Omer Majeed Department of Pedodontics, Orthodontics and Preventive Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.



Root caries, Risk factors, Root caries index, Unstimulated salivary flow rate, Behavioral habits


Backgrounds: Root surface caries is a significant oral public health problem among humans' due to improvements in health care, long life expectancy, and increasing demand to maintain oral health. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of root caries in subjects in Erbil city and its relation to various risk factors.

Subjects and methods: The study was conducted in twelve primary health care centers in different directions of the city. A total of 2600 subjects (1352 males and 1248 females) attending these centers aged 25-64 years old were examined. The following clinical parameters were evaluated: root caries index, plaque index, gingival index, unstimulated salivary flow rate, other related factors as behavioral habits, oral practices, and educational level were assessed by means of multiple choice questionnaires by direct interview.

Results: The results of this study showed that the prevalence of root caries was (22.3%) and the mean value of root caries was (33.650±16.504) in the whole sample with statistically significant age differences of both. Males were more prevalent in root surface caries than females with significant differences. Results showed that the mandibular teeth were more affected than the maxillary teeth, and that mandibular first molars were the mostly affected teeth by root caries. Prevalence of root caries was significantly associated with these risk factors: gingival index, plaque index, unstimulated salivary flow rate, educational level, wearing removable partial dentures, frequency of snacks, tooth brushing and frequency of tooth brushing, systemic disease and use of medication, while the results showed no association between prevalence of root caries and smoking.

Conclusions: The results indicate that adults and older aged individuals in Erbil city have a high prevalence of root caries and high experience of root caries as expressed by root caries index and the prevalence of root caries was associates with these risk factors: Gingival index, Plaque index, unstimulated salivary flow rate, educational level, wearing removable partial dentures, frequency of snacks, tooth brushing and frequency of tooth brushing, systemic disease and use of medication while there was no association with smoking.


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How to Cite

Talib TK, Majeed VO. Prevalence of root caries in relation to various risk factors in a sample of subjects aged (25-64) years in Erbil city: A cross sectional study. EDJ [Internet]. 2020 Dec. 6 [cited 2022 Aug. 10];3(2):79-88. Available from:



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