Open Access Research article

Associations between oral health-related impacts and rate of weight gain after extraction of pulpally involved teeth in underweight preschool Filipino children

Denise Duijster12*, Aubrey Sheiham2, Martin H Hobdell2, Gina Itchon3 and Bella Monse4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Preventive Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081LA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, Torrington Place 1-19, London WC1E 6BT, UK

3 Department of Preventive and Community Medicine, Dr. Jose P. Rizal College of Medicine, Xavier University, Ateneo de Cagayan, 9000, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

4 Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Leviste cor Rufino Street, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:533  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-533

Published: 3 June 2013

Abstract

Background

Severe dental caries in young children is associated with underweight and failure to thrive. One possible mechanism for severe caries affecting growth is that the resulting pain and discomfort influences sleeping and eating, and that affects growth and weight. The objective of this study was to assess whether rate of weight gain after extraction of severely decayed teeth in underweight preschool Filipino children was related to reductions in oral health-related impacts and dental pain from severe dental caries affecting eating and sleeping.

Methods

Data are from the Weight Gain Study, a stepped wedge cluster randomized clinical trial where underweight Filipino children with severe dental decay had their pulpally involved teeth extracted. Day care centers were randomly divided into two groups; A and B. Group A children received treatment first and Group B children were treated four months after Group A. Clinical oral examinations used WHO criteria and the pufa-index. Self-reported oral health-related impacts and anthropometric measurements were collected for both groups at baseline, four months after treatment of Group A children and four months after treatment of Group B children. Weight-for-age z-scores were calculated using 2006 and 2007 WHO standards. Data were converted to a one-group pre-test post-test study design, where all children received treatment. Associations between changes in oral health-related impacts and weight-for-age z-scores after dental treatment were assessed.

Results

Data on 145 children (mean age 61.4 months) were analyzed. There was a significant association between oral health-related impacts and rate of weight gain after extraction of pulpally involved teeth (p=0.02). Children free of impacts on sleeping related to having severely decayed teeth extracted gained significantly more weight compared to children who reported sleeping problems after dental treatment (p<0.01).

Conclusions

After extraction of severely decayed teeth in underweight Filipino children, levels of oral health-related impacts were associated with rate of weight gain. Decreases in oral health impacts on sleeping appeared to be most strongly associated with weight gain.

Trial registration

ISRCTN: ISRCTN90779069

Keywords:
Dental caries; Dental decay; Tooth extraction; Oral impacts; Sleeping; Eating; Dental pain; Underweight; Weight gain; Growth