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Severe tooth decay in children unless supplemented with Vitamin D drops – Oct 2013

Vitamin D status of children with severe early childhood caries:a case--control study

BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:174 doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-174
Robert J Schroth, Jeremy A Levi, Elizabeth A Sellers, James Friel, Eleonore Kliewer and Michael EK Moffatt
Published: 25 October 2013

Background: Severe Early Childhood Caries (S-ECC) affects the health and well-being of young children. There is limited research in this area, though evidence suggests that children with S-ECC are at an increased risk of malnutrition. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and S-ECC.

Methods: This case - control study was conducted from 2009 to 2011 in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 144 preschool children with S-ECC were recruited from a local health centre on the day of their slated dental surgery under general anesthetic. 122 caries-free controls were recruited from the community. Children underwent a blood draw for vitamin D (25(OH)D), calcium, parathyroid hormone, and albumin levels. Parents completed an interviewed questionnaire assessing the child's nutritional habits, oral health, and family demographics. Analyses included descriptive and bivariate statistics as well as multiple and logistic regression. A p value <= 0.05 was significant.

Results: The mean age of participants was 40.8 +/- 14.1 months.
Children with S-ECC had significantly lower mean

  • 25(OH)D (68.9 +/- 28.0 nmol/L vs. 82.9 +/- 31.1, p < 0.001),
  • calcium (p < 0.001), and
  • albumin (p < 0.001) levels, and significantly
  • higher parathyroid hormone (p < 0.001) levels than those caries-free.

Children with S-ECC were significantly more likely to have vitamin D levels below recognized thresholds for optimal and adequate status (i.e. <75 and <50 nmol/L, respectively). Multiple regression analysis revealed that S-ECC, infrequent milk consumption, and winter season were significantly associated with lower 25(OH)D concentrations.

Low 25(OH)D levels, low household income, and poorer ratings of the child's general health were significantly associated with S-ECC on logistic regression.

Conclusion: Children with S-ECC appear to have relatively poor nutritional health compared to caries-free controls, and were significantly more likely to have low vitamin D, calcium, and albumin concentrations and elevated PTH levels.

Clipped from PDF (Supplementation helps)

There were no apparent differences in the intake of foods containing vitamin D between the
S-ECC and caries-free groups, including the frequency of milk consumption (data not
shown). However, significantly more children receiving vitamin D drops belonged to the
caries-free group (14.0% S-ECC (n = 6) vs. 86.0% caries-free (n = 37), p < 0.001). There was
also no significant difference in multivitamin usage between the groups (76 with S-ECC vs.
67 caries-free, p = 0.73). Significantly more children in the S-ECC group were bottle-fed
compared to controls (p = 0.01) and bottle-fed to a later age (19.7 ± 8.7 months vs. 16.4 ±
7.7, p = 0.02). Meanwhile, fewer children with S-ECC were breastfed compared to the caries-
free group (p < 0.001). There was no difference in the frequency ofdaily “between-meal”
snacking between the groups (93.8% S-ECC vs. 96.7% caries-free, p = 0.39, Fisher’s Exact

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