Dietary and oral hygiene habits in children with type I diabetes mellitus related to dental caries

Stomatologija. 2005;7(2):58-62.


The aims of the study were to evaluate differences in dietary, oral hygiene habits and social class in children with Type I diabetes mellitus (DM), compared to non-diabetics, and to investigate relationship between selected caries-risk factors and caries experience in diabetics.

Material and methods: 70 children with Type I DM and 70 age- and sex-matched non-diabetic controls were included in the study. Metabolic control of diabetes was categorized into well- to- moderately-controlled and poorly-controlled groups based on glycosylated haemoglobin HbA1c. The study was based on the data obtained from the questionnaire including information about dietary and oral hygiene habits, pattern of dental visits and social class. Results showed that the diabetic children had more frequent main meals and less snacking than their controls: the mean number of main meals/day was 4.33 (SD = 0.93) in the diabetics, and 2.53 (SD = 0.85) in the controls. Significantly less diabetics (43%) used sweet drinks than their controls (79%). There were no differences according to the frequency of toothbrushing as well as frequency of dental visits between the diabetics and controls, however, significantly more diabetics reported that they never used dental floss than non-diabetics. There were no significant differences in the diet, toothbrushing frequency between the diabetics with different metabolic control. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that among caries risk associated variables only age of children (OR = 1.98; CI = 1.23-3.19) and level of metabolic control of diabetes (OR = 4.65; CI = 1.28-16.89) were statistically significantly associated with high caries experience in the diabetics.

Conclusions: Frequent consumption of sweet drinks and snacks can influence caries development in children. Amongst the diabetics, the differences in caries prevalence can be explained by combination of biological and behavioral factors rather than single dietary or oral hygiene elements.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diet, Cariogenic*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Oral Hygiene Index
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Reference Values
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors