Background: Enamel hypoplasia (EH) increases risk for dental caries and also is associated with vitamin D deficiencies. This pilot study evaluates the feasibility to determine the association of human maternal circulating vitamin D concentrations during pregnancy and EH in infant's teeth that develop in utero.
Methods: A pilot population of 37 children whose mothers participated in a RCT of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was evaluated. Major outcome was EH and major exposure was maternal monthly serum circulating 25(OH)D concentrations during pregnancy. EH was assessed using the Enamel Defect Index and digital images made by a ProScope High Resolution™ handheld digital USB microscope at 50x magnification.
Results: During initial 8 weeks of study, 29/37 children had evaluable data with mean age of 3.6 ± 0.9 years; 48% male; and 45% White, 31% Hispanic, and 24% Black. EH was identified in 13 (45%) of the children. Maternal mean 25(OH)D concentrations were generally lower for those children with EH.
Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest follow-up of children of mothers in a vitamin D supplementation RCT during pregnancy provides an important approach to study the etiology of EH in the primary teeth. Further study is needed to discern thresholds and timing of maternal serum 25(OH)D concentrations during pregnancy associated with absence of EH in teeth that develop in utero. Potential dental public health implications for prevention of early childhood caries via sound tooth structure as related to maternal vitamin D sufficiency during pregnancy need to be determined.
Keywords: Deciduous; Enamel Hypoplasia; Pregnancy; Tooth; Vitamin D; Vitamin D Deficiency.