Undernutrition is associated with change in severe dental caries

Anqi Shen, Eduardo Bernabé, Wael Sabbah
Journal of Public Health Dentistry 2020 August 2

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association of baseline prevalence of thinness or stunting and the incidence of dental caries among preschool children in Liaoning Province, China.

METHODS: Children were recruited from 15 kindergartens in Liaoning Province. A total of 772 children were assessed at baseline and follow-up. The mean age of children at baseline was 50.82 months, and the median follow-up time was 10.12 months. Anthropometric measurement, dental caries, and questionnaire were assessed overtime, whereas only baseline questionnaire was used in the data analysis. z-Score for body mass index (BMI)-for-age, weight-for-age, and height-for-age were calculated using World Health Organisation (WHO) Child Growth Standards. Dental caries was assessed according to the fifth WHO Basic Methods for Oral Health Surveys. The presence of pulpal involvement, ulceration, fistula, and abscess (pufa) were used to indicate severe dental caries in deciduous teeth. A structured questionnaire mainly based on the fifth WHO Oral Health Surveys was used to collect sociodemographic and behavior data. Logistic regression was constructed to assess the association between change in severe dental caries and prevalence of thinness and stunting.

RESULTS: There was a positive association between prevalence of stunting and incidence of severe caries in the fully adjusted model [odds ratios 2.88; 95 percent confidence interval (CI): 1.01, 8.27]. Prevalence of thinness showed insignificant positive association with incidence of severe caries.

CONCLUSIONS: While undernutrition indicated by stunting appeared to be a risk factor for severe dental caries, it could also be a marker for other determinants of progress of dental caries including socioeconomic factors and lack of use of dental services.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"