Underweight in low socioeconomic status preschool children with severe early childhood caries

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Background: The prevalence of severe early childhood caries (sECC) is high in developing nations like India. It has local as well as systemic manifestations. Aims: This study evaluated the influence of sECC and its management on growth parameters and quality of life (QoL) of preschool children from low socioeconomic status families. Materials and Methods: 100 preschool children (50 with sECC and 50 with no dental caries; mean age 5.42 ± 0.74 years) from low socioeconomic status were studied. QoL; Decayed, extracted and filled teeth (def) index; Height (Ht); Weight (Wt); Head circumference (HC); Mid arm circumference (MAC); and, Body Mass Index (BMI) were recorded at baseline and compared after six months of dental rehabilitation. The test group included children with sECC having def > 6 and at least one pulpally involved tooth.The control group children did not have DC (def =0). Both the groups were age, gender and socioeconomic status matched. Statistical Analysis: Statistical analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) v.11.0 computer software. Chi-square test, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Fisher′s exact and paired t tests were performed for comparing the groups at baseline and six month recall visit. Results: Baseline measurements showed that 46% of children with sECC had Wt below 3rd percentile (underweight; mean 15.49 ± 1.87Kg) which was less than the controls (mean Wt 16.34 ± 1.46kg). They also complained of pain (40%), avoidance of hard food (24%), noticed Wt loss (18%) and sleep disturbances (12%). After 6 months of dental rehabilitation, there was a significant improvement in their Wt (P= 0.002) and QoL. Conclusions: sECC negatively influenced the Wt and QoL of children. Awareness, education of parents and facilitation of oral health services may help in improving their Wt and QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


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