Comparison of the intakes of sugar by young children with and without dental caries experience

ArticleinJournal of the American Dental Association (1939) 138(1):39-46 · February 2007with7 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.01 · DOI: 10.14219/jada.archive.2007.0019 · Source: PubMed


    Relationships among sugars and dental caries in contemporary societies are unclear. The authors describe young children's intakes of nonmilk extrinsic (NME) and intrinsic/milk sugars and relate those intakes to dental caries.
    The authors conducted cross-sectional analyses of dietary data collected from the Iowa Fluoride Study using three-day diaries for subjects at ages 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years and for subjects aged 1 through 5 years according to dental caries experience at 4.5 to 6.9 years of age. They categorized foods and beverages as containing NME or intrinsic/milk sugars.
    Subjects' total, NME, food NME and intrinsic/milk sugars intakes at ages studied did not differ between subjects with and without caries experience. Beverage NME sugars intakes at age 3 years predicted caries (P < .05) in logistic regression models adjusted for age at dental examination and for fluoride intake.
    Dental caries is a complex, multifactorial disease process dependent on the presence of oral bacteria, a fermentable carbohydrate substrate and host enamel. A simple NME-intrinsic/milk sugars categorization appears insufficient to capture the complex dietary component of the caries process.
    Cariogenicity is more likely a function of the food and/or beverage vehicle delivering the sugar and the nature of exposure-that is, frequency and length of eating events-than of the sugar's categorization.