The aim of this article is to report a case of iron deficiency diagnosed in a child after routine oral examination.
CASE REPORT: A 5-year-old male child of African descent was brought to the paediatric dental clinic of a public university in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil. His mother's main complaint was her child's decayed teeth and sensitivity in the tongue every time he ate spicy
or hot food. Anamnesis revealed chronic respiratory problems due to allergy, two previous episodes of anaemia and hospitalization
about 15 months before the dental visit because of severe primary herpetic gingivostomatitis. Soft tissue examination revealed his
tongue had various patches of atrophic mucosa characterizing absence of papillae in these areas. The child's dietary assessment
indicated that he never ate meat or vegetables. Haematological investigation showed that the child probably had an iron deficiency,
although the full blood count was not totally compatible with anaemia. A rapid initial recovery was quite noticeable after the
beginning of oral therapy with ferrous sulphate, as remission of tongue sensitivity as well as papillae neoformation were observed.
Vol.5 – n.2/2004
Harvard: V. S. Pierro, L. C. Maia, L. G. Primo, F. D. Soares (2004) "Case report: the importance of oral manifestations in diagnosing iron deficiency in childhood", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 5(2), pp115-118. doi:
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