Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterised by reversible airway obstruction, inflammation of the airway, and increased responsiveness of the airways to stimuli. It is a growing global health problem, and its prevalence is high among children. The results from studies evaluating the effect of asthma on the prevalence of developmental defects of enamel (DDE) are inconclusive. Study Design: The objective of this cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the influence of childhood asthma on the prevalence of DDE and study some general and asthmatic factors on the prevalence of DDE. The study population consisted of children aged 2–17 years (n = 138) under treatment for asthma who had used anti-asthmatic medications for at least one year; 140 controls were their healthy siblings. For studying different factors on DDE, 308 asthmatic children were added to the cohort thus forming a group of 446 asthmatic children.
Developmental defects of enamel were determined with the DDE index. All primary and permanent teeth were evaluated. Questionnaires completed by parents and data from the patients’ medical records provided information on various confounding factors.
In primary teeth, no statistically significant differences were found. In permanent teeth, demarcated opacities and total DDE were statistically significantly higher among asthmatic children compared to healthy siblings. Among asthmatic children (n = 446), no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of DDE was found among gender, fluoride exposure history, parents’ education, and asthmatic factors like the duration of medication use, use of metered-dose or dry-powder inhaled form, use of additional antihistamines or leukotriene antagonist.
The results showed that asthmatic children have a higher prevalence of DDE on permanent teeth compared to their healthy siblings. The DDE in asthmatic children are more related to the asthma disease instead of its treatment. Asthmatic children need a unique dental approach to prevent further loss of dental substance.
Vol.23 – n.2/2022
Harvard: T. Samec, J. Jan (2022) "Developmental defects of enamel among Slovenian asthmatic children", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(2), pp121-124. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.02.14
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