The effect of dental rehabilitation on the body weight of children with early childhood caries

Pediatr Dent. Mar-Apr 1999;21(2):109-13.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of comprehensive dental rehabilitation on the percentile weight and percentile growth velocity of children with early childhood caries (ECC).

Methods: The percentile weight categories of children with noncontributory medical histories and ECC were compared to caries free comparison patients, before and after comprehensive dental treatment under general anesthesia.

Results: Prior to dental rehabilitation, test subjects' percentile weight categories were significantly less than that of comparison counterparts (P < 0.001). Of the ECC patients, 13.7% weighed less than 80% of their ideal weight, thereby satisfying one of the criteria for the designation of failure to thrive, while none of the comparison patients did so (P < 0.05). Following therapeutic intervention, ECC children exhibited significantly increased growth velocities through the course of the follow-up period (P < 0.001), reflecting the phenomenon of catch up growth. The average length of follow-up for the test and comparison groups were 1.58 and 1.36 years, respectively. At the end of the follow-up period there were no longer any statistically significant differences noted in the percentile weight categories of the test and comparison groups.

Conclusion: Comprehensive dental rehabilitation resulted in catch-up growth, such that children with a history of nursing caries no longer differed in percentile weights from comparison patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / physiopathology
  • Dental Caries / rehabilitation*
  • District of Columbia
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York City
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth, Deciduous