Effect of Dental Treatment on the Body Mass Index of Children Aged 3 - 6 Years Diagnosed with Early Childhood Caries: A Longitudinal Case-Control Study
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Dental caries is one of the most common childhood problems, which is associated with other diseases, such as malnutrition.


This study aimed to investigate the effect of early childhood caries (ECC) treatment on the body mass index (BMI) of children, aged 3 - 6 years.


In this longitudinal case-control study, 96 children, aged 3 - 6 years, were recruited and divided into three groups (n = 32 per group). A questionnaire was completed for each child, and the decayed, missing, and filled Teeth (dmft) index was measured via clinical examination, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Anthropometric measurements were performed in each group to assess BMI at baseline and after six months. The first two groups were diagnosed with ECC. For group I, a comprehensive dental treatment was performed under general anesthesia at baseline, while for group II, no treatment was applied during six months. Group III consisted of caries-free children. Data were analyzed using ANOVA, independent t-test, paired t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, and Kruskal-Wallis test (P < 0.05).


The mean and standard deviation of the dmft index were 7.09 ± 2.40, 5.19 ± 1.72, and zero in groups I, II, and III, respectively. The BMI changes after six months were 0.11 ± 0.42, 0.00 ± 0.39, and -0.04 ± 0.64 kg/m2 in groups I, II, and III, respectively. The mean BMI significantly changed in the three groups within six months (P = 0.034). In group I, the BMI changes were significantly greater than the other two groups (P = 0.004).


Although a significant negative relationship was found between ECC and BMI, oral hygiene and nutritional behavior were the main confounding variables. Based on the findings, treatment of ECC had a significant positive effect on BMI; therefore, it is important for healthcare professionals to identify and treat children at risk.

Iranian Journal of Pediatrics, Volume:32 Issue: 4, Aug 2022
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