Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterised by communication deficits and repetitive unusual behaviours. The behaviour guidance of these children represents a challenge for the dental team. The aim of the study was to evaluate the oral health status in a group of Italian children with ASD.
Material and methods
Study Design: Sixty-four Italian children with ASD and 64 controls were included. Data were collected by means of questionnaires and clinical examinations.
Dental trauma (p=0.007), bruxism (p=0.001) and biting objects habit (p=0.021) were more frequent in the study group; fluoride exposure was lower (p=0.001) (chi-square test). The mean plaque index was 1.48 ±0.75 in the study group and 0.81±0.56 in the control group (p=0.001; Mann-Whitney U test); the mean dmft/DMFT was 3.00 ±1.2 and 2.3 ±1.8 in the study group and 1.8 ±1.1 and 1.0 ±1.1 in the control group (p<0.001; Mann-Whitney U test). Anterior open bite was more frequent in the study group (p=0.013; Chi-square test). No significant differences were found for enamel defects, molar relationship, posterior crossbite and deep bite. Significantly more children with ASD showed a negative behaviour (80% vs 35%: p =0.001; Chi-square test).
Children with ASD have a poorer oral health status than healthy children. The early establishment of a home dental hygiene should be encouraged.
Vol.22 – n.3/2021
Harvard: S. Bagattoni, L. Lardani, G. D’Alessandro, G. Piana (2021) "Oral health status of Italian children with Autism Spectrum Disorder", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 22(3), pp243-247. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2021.22.03.12
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