The association between growth factors and blood factors with early childhood caries

Hoda Shamsaddin, Fatemeh Jahanimoghadam, Hamidreza Poureslami, Ali Akbar Haghdoost


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a specific form of rampant dental caries affecting infants and young children. ECC is still a problem that threatens the health of the community and its management is important. It is believed that the majorities of children with ECC also suffer from malnutrition, anemia, low weight and altered physical growth patterns. This study was undertaken to compare blood indices [mean corpuscular volume (MCV), hemoglobin and serum ferritin] in a population of children in Kerman, Iran, and the association between growth factors, blood parameters, and ECC.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 240 children were selected from Afzalipour Hospital of Kerman. The subjects consisted of 2 to 6-year children, who needed blood sampling for different diagnostic reasons. Data were collected through clinical oral examinations, anthropometric measures, blood indices measurement (MCV, hemoglobin and serum ferritin) and structured questionnaire in order to assess demographic characteristics, nutritional habits and the presence or absence of systemic conditions. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.

RESULTS: The mean age of subjects was 50.79 months. Of 240 children included in this study, 124 (52.1%) were girls and the rest (47.9%) were boys. Statistical test revealed that there were statically significant differences in weight as well as the height of children in experimental and control groups (P < 0.050). No significant differences were detected in the frequencies of low hematocrit levels between the groups with and without dental caries (P > 0.050).

CONCLUSION: No significant association was observed between ECC and blood indices (MCV, hemoglobin and serum ferritin), but the mean height and weight in the caries-free group were significantly higher.


Dental Caries; Iron Deficiency; Anemia; Preschool Child; Growth Factors; Blood Factors; Early Childhood Caries

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