ABSTRACT: Objective. To evaluate the oral hygiene and the periodontal condition of children and adolescents with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP). Methods. Forty-one children and adolescents, 4-18 years, with CLP and 41 normal controls participated. Clinical parameters examined were the plaque and gingival index and Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs. For teeth in the cleft area, probing pocket depth, bleeding on probing, and tooth mobility were also evaluated. Samples of subgingival plaque were collected from 21 randomly selected patients of each group. Results. The CLP group had generally poorer oral hygiene (plaque index significantly higher) compared with the control. Children in both groups presented mild degree of gingivitis. Teeth in the cleft area had significantly higher pocket probing depth and tooth mobility, compared with corresponding teeth in the control group. The microbial analysis did not reveal significant differences in the composition of the subgingival microbiota between groups. Teeth in the cleft presented higher isolation frequencies and mean percentages of periodontopathic bacteria. Conclusion. Youngsters with CLP showed poor oral hygiene and worse periodontal condition, compared with controls. The above results advocate their participation in an intensive preventive dental programme that should start at an early age, possibly decreasing the risk of future periodontal disease.
International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 10/2009; 19(6):455-67. · 1.01 Impact Factor