Aim: This was to record the oral health profile and more specifically the prevalence of carious and hypoplastic lesions in children and adolescents with cleft lip and palate (CLP).
Study design and methods: The study group consisted of 41 children and adolescents (4-18 years-old) with CLP group while a similar number of non-cleft persons (HLP) matched for sex, age and orthodontic treatment (75.6%), was used as the control group. Information regarding the oral health habits, medical and dental history were collected using a questionnaire. Stimulated saliva was collected to evaluate the flow rate and buffering capacity as well as the levels of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli using the chair-test CRT(R) (Ivoclar -Vivadent). Oral hygiene (OH) was assessed using the index of Silness and Loe . The prevalence of initial/white spot and cavitated carious lesions as well as hypoplasia was evaluated based on the criteria by ICDAS  and Nyvad et al  as well as Koch et al  respectively. The statistical analysis was carried out using the t-test and the chi- square test.
Results: Approximately half of the CLP and HLP subjects were brushing their teeth 2 x per day. Both groups reported an average of 3 main and 2 snack meals per day. Levels of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli as well as the quality of the saliva were similar for both groups. The plaque index score was significantly higher in the CLP than in the control group (p=0.0003). The prevalence of cavitated carious lesions was similar in both groups but that of the initial/white spot lesions, especially at the area of maxillary incisors, was higher in the CLP group (85%, p=0.000).
Conclusions: The increased numbers of initial/ white spot lesions combined with poor OH found in the CLP group predispose for an increased risk of further development to carious cavitated lesions. Taking into consideration that the majority of those patients were under orthodontic treatment, the application of an intensive individualized oral health preventive program, focused on remineralisation of the initial caries, is imperative.