Higher body mass index associated with severe early childhood caries

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Davidson, Katherine
Schroth, Robert J
Levi, Jeremy A
Yaffe, Aaron B
Mittermuller, Betty-Anne
Sellers, Elizabeth A C
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Abstract Background Severe Early Childhood Caries (S-ECC) is an aggressive form of tooth decay in preschool children affecting quality of life and nutritional status. The purpose was to determine whether there is an association between Body Mass Index (BMI) and S-ECC. Methods Children with S-ECC were recruited on the day of their slated dental surgery under general anesthesia. Age-matched, caries-free controls were recruited from the community. All children were participating in a larger study on nutrition and S-ECC. Analysis was restricted to children ≥ 24 months of age. Parents completed a questionnaire and heights and weights were recorded. BMI scores and age and gender adjusted BMI z-scores and percentiles were calculated. A p-value ≤ 0.05 was significant. Results Two hundred thirty-five children were included (141 with S-ECC and 94 caries-free). The mean age was 43.3 ± 12.8 months and 50.2 % were male. Overall, 34.4 % of participants were overweight or obese. Significantly more children with S-ECC were classified as overweight or obese when compared to caries-free children (p = 0.038) and had significantly higher mean BMI z-scores than caries-free children (0.78 ± 1.26 vs. 0.22 ± 1.36, p = 0.002). Those with S-ECC also had significantly higher BMI percentiles (69.0 % ± 29.2 vs. 56.8 % ± 31.7, p = 0.003). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that BMI z-scores were significantly and independently associated with S-ECC and annual household income as were BMI percentiles. Conclusions Children with S-ECC in our sample had significantly higher BMI z-scores than caries-free peers.
BMC Pediatrics. 2016 Aug 20;16(1):137