Dental Caries-Associated Microorganisms in Asthmatic Children


1 Department of Pediatrics, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C.

2 Pharmacology Department, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C.

3 Pharmacology Department, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C.,

4 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Gilan Dental School, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht-Iran

5 Department of Biotechnology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, TEHRAN-IRAN.


Background: According to several studies, asthma medications especially β2-agonists and corticosteroids have harmful effects on the dentition. This study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of dental caries in asthmatic children in comparison with healthy controls. Some potential confounders of oral health were also evaluated. Materials and Methods: Asthmatic children aged 5-15 years under the care of the Pediatric Pulmonary Clinic of Masih Daneshvari Hospital were studied. DMFT index (decay, missing, filling teeth) was assessed in them by using the visual-tactile technique. Also, saliva samples were taken from each child and the number of Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli colonies in the samples was counted. Similar data were collected from the healthy controls. Results: Forty-five asthmatic (mean age 10.90 ± 3.16 yrs) and 46 healthy children (mean age 11.03 ± 0.59 yrs) were studied. Mean DMFT was 3.98 ± 2.53 in the control group and 4.30 ± 2.81 in the study group which revealed a significant difference between the two groups regarding DMFT index. The number of Lactobacilli colonies was 8171.3 ± 11956.0 and 16078.4 ± 24305.5 in asthmatic and non-asthmatic groups, respectively which demonstrated no significant difference in this regard. Whereas, the number of Streptococcus mutans colonies was significantly different between the two groups (32331.7 ± 46258.9 colonies in the control group versus 80883.4 ± 74799.9 colonies in the study group; p-value < 0.05). Multivariable analysis revealed that asthmatic children receiving anti-asthmatic medication including β2-agonists and corticosteroids had a higher DMFT index. Conclusion: According to our study the prevalence of dental caries was higher in asthmatic children as compared to the healthy controls. Also, a significant correlation was detected between the saliva pathogens and dental caries. Dental caries were more prevalent in children receiving β2-agonists alone than in those receiving both corticosteroids and β2-agonists. Our study concluded that a more comprehensive precise oral health training program needs to be established by complete evaluation of the dental caries status in asthmatic children and also by training them regarding the technique of using inhalers with a spacer to lower the complications and costs of dental caries. (Tanaffos 2007; 6(4): 42-46)