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Young people with asthma run a greater risk of developing caries
Date:1/11/2011

The work presented in the thesis has examined children, adolescents and young adults in the age groups 3, 6, 12-16 and 18-24, with and without asthma. The first study revealed that 3- year-olds who suffer from asthma have more caries than 3-year-olds without asthma. "The children with asthma had a greater tendency to breathe through the mouth; they became dry in the mouth and were therefore given sugary drinks more often. This may have contributed to them developing higher cariesprevalence", explains Malin Stensson, dental hygienist and researcher at the Department of Cariology, Institute of Odontology at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

These children were then followed in a study from age 3 years to age 6 years. It became clear that the 3-year-olds with asthma subsequently developed more caries than children without asthma. The scientists have also compared the oral health of adolescents aged 12-16 years who had long-term moderate or severe asthma with that of adolescents of the same age without asthma. "Only 1 out of 20 in the asthma group was cariesfree, while 13 out of 20 were cariesfree in the control group. One factor that may have influenced the development of caries is somewhat lower level of saliva secretion, which was probably caused by the medication taken by those with asthma. Adolescents with asthma also suffered more often from gingivitis than those without asthma", says Malin Stensson.

The work presented in the thesis also examined the oral health of young adults aged 18-24 years, with and without asthma. The results from this age group were nearly identical with those in the group of 12-16-year-olds, although the differences between those with asthma and those without were not as large.

Malin Stensson points out that the numbers of participants in the studies were relatively small, and it may be difficult to generalise the results. What is interesting, however, is that young people with asthma have more caries than those wi
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Contact: Malin Stensson
malin.stensson@hhj.hj.se
46-036-101-280
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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