Oral health, dental anxiety, and behavior management problems in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Eur J Oral Sci. 2006 Oct;114(5):385-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.2006.00393.x.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common developmental disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate whether children with ADHD have a higher caries prevalence, a higher degree of dental anxiety, or more dental behavior management problems (BMP) than children of a control group. Twenty-five children with ADHD and a control group of 58 children, all aged 11 yr, were included in the study. The children underwent a clinical dental examination, and bitewing radiographs were taken. The parents completed the Dental Subscale of Children's Fear Survey Schedule (CFSS-DS). Dental records from the subjects were obtained, and data regarding notes on behavior management problems (BMP) of the children when between 3 and 10 yr of age were compiled. Compared with controls, children with ADHD had significantly higher decayed, missing or filled surfaces (DMFS) (2.0 +/- 3.0 vs. 1.0 +/- 1.5) and significantly higher decayed surfaces (DS) (1.7 +/- 3.6 vs. 0.5 +/- 0.9). Differences between the groups regarding CFSS-DS scores were non-significant. In the ADHD group, the prevalence of BMP increased when the children were between 7 and 9 yr of age. In conclusion, children with ADHD exhibited a higher caries prevalence, did not exhibit a higher degree of dental anxiety, and had more BMP than children of a control group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Dental Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Dental Anxiety / psychology
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology