Preterm, low birth weight children at high risk of developmental enamel defects, Study says
According to a recent research published in the Journal of Dentistry for Children, it has been observed that preterm (PT) and/or low birth weight (LBW) children presented more developmental enamel defects (DED) than full term (FT) and/or normal birth weight (NBW) infants.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that nearly 15 million preterm (PT) infants
are born each year. Full-term (FT) infants are those born between 37 and 41 weeks and six days. Low birth weight (LBW) children are those born weighing less than 2,500 g.
Although the associations between (PT) and/or LBW children, developmental enamel defects (DED), and dental caries have been evaluated in recent systematic reviews, the published data on the association between prematurity, DED, and dental caries are inconsistent across varying populations.
Therefore, Elisa Feuser and colleagues from the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil carried out the study with the purpose to compare dental caries and DED between a group of PT/LBW children with a group of FT/NBW children and evaluate the factors associated with developmental enamel defects (DED).
This study included 84 two- to five-year-old children. The PT/LBW group included 42 children who received medical care at a university hospital, while FT/ NBW group included 42 subjects. Children were matched by sex and age (1:1 ratio). Descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, and Poisson regression were used to analyse the data.
The findings were as follows-
a. Children in the PT/LBW group had a significantly higher number of teeth with DED than subjects in the FT/NBW group.
b. No difference was observed between the groups regarding dental caries (P>0.05).
c. Admission to the neonatal intensive care was significantly associated with DED unit (prevalence ratio = 0.21 [95 percent confidence interval = 0.1 to 0.5]).
Therefore, the authors concluded that ": PT/LBW children presented more developmental enamel defects (DED) than FT/NBW children. No differences were observed between the groups for dental caries. Admission to the neonatal intensive care unit was associated with developmental enamel defects (DED)."