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Pediatr Dent. 1999 Nov-Dec;21(7):433-7.

The implication of phenylketonuria on oral health.

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Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



This study was performed to evaluate the oral health of children with PKU and to assess, in vitro, the erosive potential of 5 amino acid supplements commonly prescribed in the management of these children.


Forty children with phenylketonuria underwent a full dental examination and were compared with an age and sex matched control group. The erosive potential of the supplements was assessed by comparing their pH and titratable acidity to those of Coca Cola and orange juice.


There was no significant difference between the affected and control groups in the level of dental caries, with over 75% of the children examined being caries free. However significantly more (33%) children with phenylketonuria exhibited signs of tooth wear compared with 24% of the controls (P < 0.05). While Coca Cola had the lowest pH (2.46), the titratable acidity of the flavoured supplements (92.86-126.8 mEq/l) was significantly higher than both their unflavored counterparts (4.18-14.0 mEq/l) and Coca Cola (38.56 mEq/l).


Despite the potentially damaging nature of their diet, significantly less children with PKU had ever seen a dentist. Health professionals involved in the care of these patients should be aware of the implications of management and provide appropriate dental advice and referral.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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