The role of asthma in caries occurrence - meta-analysis and meta-regression

J Asthma. 2019 Aug;56(8):841-852. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2018.1493602. Epub 2018 Aug 24.


Objective: We aimed to conduct a systematic review of the literature regarding the association between asthma and caries, assess the effect of asthma on the occurrence of caries in primary and permanent dentitions, and determine factors that could affect the estimates of this association. Data source: We used the following databases: PubMed, Web of Science, SCOPUS, and LILACS/BVS, for the literature review. Study selection: We included observational studies that investigated the association between asthma and dental caries, excluding studies with syndromic patients, literature reviews, case reports, and in vitro and in situ studies. A meta-analysis was performed to estimate a pooled effect, and meta-regression was conducted to determine study factors that could affect the estimates. Results: From 674 studies initially identified, 40 fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and 36 of these were used in the meta-analysis. Odds ratio (OR) for the pooled effect was 1.45 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22-1.72; I2, 71.8%; p < 0.001) and 1.52 (95% CI: 1.34-1.73; I2, 83.1%; p < 0.001) for primary and permanent dentitions, respectively. In addition, a small proportion of the heterogeneity was attributed to included factors in the meta-regression (primary dentition, 10.7%; and permanent dentition, 3.1%). Conclusions: This study provides reliable and robust evidence that emphasizes the impact of asthma on the occurrence of dental caries in both, primary and permanent, dentitions. The findings provide useful data for recommending that dentists and physicians collaborate to establish the control for both diseases in a multidisciplinary manner.

Keywords: Asthma; antiasthmatic drugs; chronic inflammatory disease; dental caries; wheezing.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Dental Caries / diagnosis*
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dentition, Permanent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Tooth, Deciduous / physiology