Title: Oral health and habits in children with asthma related to severity and duration of condition
Abstract: Aim 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. Methods 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 Mühleman and Son  and the plaque index of Silness and Löe  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. Results The mean dmft was 1.99 (SD±2.74) and the mean DMFT was 1.10 (SD±1.98). 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. Conclusion 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.