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Title There Is No Direct Link Between Asthma and Dental caries but Associated Secondary Factors May Increase caries Incidence
Clinical Question Are adolescents and children with asthma more susceptible to dental caries?
Clinical Bottom Line Evidence for a definitive association between asthma and dental caries appears to be inconclusive. However, secondary factors of the disease could put both adolescents and children at greater risk of dental caries. Dentists should individually assess each asthmatic patient to determine increased caries risk.
Best Evidence (you may view more info by clicking on the PubMed ID link)
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
#1) 21828369Alavaikko/201111 studies on primary dentition 14 studies on permanent dentitionMeta-Analysis
Key resultsThere is evidence that indicates asthma may double caries risk in both primary and permanent dentition.
#2) 20807905Maupome/201027 studies investigating the link between asthma and caries.Systematic Review
Key resultsThey found no evidence of a causal relationship, but did indicate that the medications used by asthmatic patients may contribute to increase caries risk.
Evidence Search "Asthma"[Mesh] AND "Dental Caries"[Mesh] AND (systematic[sb] AND "2008/02/18"[PDat] : "2013/02/15"[PDat])
Comments on
The Evidence
The first article was a systematic review and meta-analysis that analyzed the relationship numerous studies to find the relationship between dental caries and asthma. This was the most recent systematic review on the topic and identified asthma as a risk factor for dental caries. The second article systematically reviewed 27 studies and found no causal relationship but indicated that further research was needed on the subject. The two articles come to seemingly contradictory conclusions. This suggests that the complex and multi-factorial nature of the relationship between asthma and dental caries makes identifying a clear link very difficult. However, the two studies indicate secondary factors such as medication, mouth breathing, salivary changes due to medication, flavoring agents, and changes in oral flora could affect the incidence of dental caries.
Applicability With the increasing prevalence of pediatric asthmatic patients, a clinician who was aware of the possible effects of secondary contributing factors would be better able to provide preventive care.
Specialty/Discipline (Public Health) (Oral Medicine/Pathology/Radiology) (General Dentistry) (Pediatric Dentistry) (Dental Hygiene)
Keywords Asthma, Dental caries
ID# 2455
Date of submission: 03/01/2013spacer
E-mail andersondm@livemail.uthscsa.edu
Author David Anderson
Co-author(s) e-mail
Faculty mentor/Co-author Howard McGuff, DDS
Faculty mentor/Co-author e-mail mcguff@uthscsa.edu
Basic Science Rationale
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