Aim: The aim of this longitudinal study was to evaluate changes in oral health, orofacial function, and dental care in children with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) in comparison with a control group.
Methods: Thirty-six DM1 patients and 33 control patients out of originally 37 in each group were examined on two occasions about 4 years apart. Caries, plaque, and gingivitis were registered, mouth opening capacity assessed and the ability to cooperate in dental treatment estimated. Questionnaires concerning different aspects of oral health and care, symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD), and dental trauma were also used.
Results: The DM1-patients, in particular the boys, had significantly more caries, plaque, and gingivitis than the control patients on both occasions and the increase in decayed missing or filled permanent teeth (DMFT) and surfaces (DMFS) was significantly larger. They received more dental care and had lower cooperation ability. Mouth opening capacity and increase of it was significantly lower and symptoms of TMD were significantly more frequent.
Conclusions: DM1 patients, as they grow older, have increasing amounts of plaque and risk of caries and gingivitis. They have more TMD problems. Behaviour management problems do not seem to decrease with age. Increased prophylactic care is essential for DM1 patients.