Caries experience and caries risk of pre-school children

Dr. Maria Lourdes E. Cantor

Endodontics Department, School of Dentistry,
University of Baguio, Baguio City Philippines 2600

Academic Journal of Health Sciences Medicina Balear, 2022 Volume 37, No. 1 | doi: 10.3306/AJHS.2022.37.01.97


Introduction: Oral health is an important aspect of a child’s overall health. Children who have high levels of caries experience in their primary teeth are more prone to developing caries in their permanent teeth. Many surveys around the world show moderate to high caries experience among preschool children. One main factor in caries development is sugar consumption. Although some previous studies have shown low correlation between caries experience and consumption of sweets, most studies have shown that there is a significant correlation between these variables.

Objectives: This study aimed to determine the level of caries experience and level of caries risk from sugar consumption among preschool children. The relationship between caries experience and caries risk was also determined.
Methods: The “dmf” index and the 24 hour diet recall for scoring sweets were used in gathering data.
Results: A very high percentage of the children examined (96.77%) had dental caries. Only two children (3.23 %) were caries free. The overall mean dmf score of the children is 8.98 which means that on the average, 45% or each child’s primary teeth had caries experience. This is further interpreted as moderate caries experience among the preschool children examined. The mean sweet score of the children is 6.43 which is interpreted as moderate caries risk. Based on the responses in the 24 hour recall, most parents give or allow their children to eat snack foods with refined sugar.
Conclusions: There is a moderate positive correlation between caries experience and caries risk from sugar intake. At an early
age, these children already experienced dental caries. If their teeth with dental caries are left untreated, this could lead to the
early loss of their primary teeth. The children frequently consume sweets within a day. This practice contributes to the risk of caries
development among the children. Children with a higher risk from sugar or sweet intake have higher occurrence of dental caries

Keywords: Intentional replantation; Root canal treatment; Surgical endodontics