The Birhor tribes of Ramgarh District, Jharkhand – a ferret into their oral health status and treatment needs
Aim and objectives. Jharkhand is a land of 32 listed Tribes, out of which eight tribes have been categorized as ‘Primitive Tribes’ and the Birhors are one among these. The study was aimed at assessing the oral health status and treatment needs of the native Birhors.
Material and methods. A cross-sectional household survey of 400 Birhors in the panchayats of Basantpur, Kuju Purvi and Mandu Chatti was conducted. A modified World Health Organization (WHO) Oral Health Assessment Form (1997) was utilized and examined according to the WHO methodology (1997). The recorded data were statistically analyzed using the SPSS version 15.
Results. Based on the occupation, it was found that 141 (35.25%) subjects were hunters and 90 (22.50%) subjects practiced agriculture. A majority of 337 (84.25%) subjects were using the Sakhua twigs (Shorea robusta) to clean their teeth. It was observed that 381 (95.25%) subjects were quite healthy and had no oral mucosal lesions. Almost half of the study subjects (45%) were habituated to tobacco and among them 101 (56.11%) subjects were using khaini, followed by 46 (25.56%) subjects who used bidis. The mean decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) Index scores among males and females was 1.05±2.59 and 1.02±2.17, respectively. Subjects with bleeding gums were predominantly seen in the age group of 2-5 years (26.75%) and those with shallow pockets were more commonly seen in the age group of 16-34 years (47.12%). A total of 53 (13.25%) subjects and 33 (8.25%) subjects had a LOA of 4-5 mm and 6-8 mm, respectively. Among males, 0.44±2.60 subjects each needed one/two surface fillings. A total of 14 (3.5%) and 15 (3.75%) subjects needed one-unit prosthesis in the upper and lower jaws, respectively.
Conclusion. The study showed that a majority of Birhor tribals (84.25%) used Sakhua twigs to clean their teeth. Almost half of the study subjects (45%) were habituated to tobacco in myriad forms.