Early Childhood Caries: current evidence for aetiology and prevention

School of Dental Science, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (Impact Factor: 1.15). 01/2006; 42(1-2):37-43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2006.00777.x
Source: PubMed


Despite the fact that it is largely preventable, dental caries (decay) remains one of the most common chronic diseases of early childhood. Dental decay in young children frequently leads to pain and infection necessitating hospitalization for dental extractions under general anaesthesia. Dental problems in early childhood have been shown to be predictive of not only future dental problems but also on growth and cognitive development by interfering with comfort nutrition, concentration and school participation.
To review the current evidence base in relation to the aetiology and prevention of dental caries in preschool-aged children.
A search of MEDLINE, CINALH and Cochrane electronic databases was conducted using a search strategy which restricted the search to randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, clinical trials, systematic reviews and other quasi-experimental designs. The retrieved studies were then limited to articles including children aged 5 years and under and published in English. The evidence of effectiveness was then summarized by the authors.
The review highlighted the complex aetiology of early childhood caries (ECC). Contemporary evidence suggests that potentially effective interventions should occur in the first 2 years of a child's life. Dental attendance before the age of 2 years is uncommon; however, contact with other health professionals is high. Primary care providers who have contact with children well before the age of the first dental visit may be well placed to offer anticipatory advice to reduce the incidence of ECC.

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    • "Sweden, and Finland [2] [3], 19.3% in USA [4], 28.4% in northeastern Brazil [5], 29.1% in central Trinidad [6], 44% in southwestern India [7], 56.2% in Poland [8], from 59% to 94% in northern Philippines [9], and 98.9% in Canada's northern Manitoba [10]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a potentially severe disease affecting children all over the world. The available findings are mostly based on a logistic regression model, but data mining, in particular association rule mining, could be used to extract more information from the same data set. ECC data was collected in a cross-sectional analytical study of the 10% sample of preschool children in the South Bačka area (Vojvodina, Serbia). Association rules were extracted from the data by association rule mining. Risk factors were extracted from the highly ranked association rules. Discovered dominant risk factors include male gender, frequent breastfeeding (with other risk factors), high birth order, language, and low body weight at birth. Low health awareness of parents was significantly associated to ECC only in male children. The discovered risk factors are mostly confirmed by the literature, which corroborates the value of the methods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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    • "High levels of S. mutans andlactobacilli in the mother's mouth contribute to maternal transfer as do maternal dietary habits and poor oral hygiene [6]. Maternal behaviors such as tasting the infant's food and sharing utensils can transmit bacteria from the mother to the child [6]. Maternal psychosocial factors, including stress, oral health beliefs, fatalistic attitudes, and cultural factors, are associated with ECC and with dental health services utilization [1, 7–9]. "
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    • "As reported by Beltran-Aguilar et al., the two most recent US national surveys have demonstrated an increase in caries prevalence among 2-5 year olds.[6] This is also true for Brazil, North America, China, Australia, and Korea, with the prevalence rates of 27, 60, 67, 80, and 83.3, respectively.[78910] "
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