This study was designed to examine the oral health status of asthmatic children and to compare the oral health
condition and habits of different groups of asthmatic children.
140 asthmatic children were involved in the present study. Of
those, 30 were younger than 7 years of age, 73 were between 7 and 12, 37 were older than 12. Dental caries was scored according to
the guidelines of the BASCD. No radiographs were taken. The gingival health and the amount of plaque were assessed using the
bleeding index described by Mhleman and Son 1971 and the plaque index of Silness and Le
1964 respectively. To differentiate between the asthmatic children three explanatory variables were used: the time the
asthmatic symptoms had lasted, the exposure time to the medication and the severity of the asthmatic condition. Finally the parents and
children were asked to fill in a questionnaire referring to oral health habits.
The mean dmft was 1.99 (SD2.74) and
the mean DMFT was 1.10 (SD1.98). Non-parametric correlation and multiple logistic regression analyses showed no
significant difference between the caries (dmft/s, DMFT/S), the gingival health (bleeding index) and plaque indices and the three
explanatory variables. The impact of possible compensatory factors as oral hygiene and dietary habits was of no significant importance.
This analysis revealed that neither the period (of the disease and the medication) nor the severity of the asthma had a
significant influence on the risk of caries and gingivitis in asthmatic children. No reported oral health and dietary habits could explain this
lack of correlation.
Vol.5 – n.4/2004
Harvard: A. K. Eloot, J. N. Vanobbergen, F. De Baets, L. C. Martens (2004) "Oral health and habits in children with asthma related to severity and duration of condition", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 5(4), pp210-215. doi:
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