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Pediatr Dent. 1990 Jul-Aug;12(4):233-6.

Relationship of microbiological, social, and environmental variables to caries status in young children.

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University of connecticut Health Center, Farmington.


This study was undertaken to investigate the significance of social, environmental, and biological variables in relation to caries status in a group of young children, and to determine whether incorporating data on social and environmental variables into a multivariate model could improve the accuracy of a screening approach that relies solely on quantifying levels of salivary Streptococcus mutans. Data regarding fluoride status and sociodemographic characteristics were collected from the dental records of 89 children who ranged in age from 10-71 months, and who had been screened previously for S. mutans. Multivariate analyses (logit) revealed that the probability of having clinically or radiographically detectable caries was associated with 1) higher levels of salivary S. mutans, 2) residing in a single-parent household, 3) having suboptimal levels of fluoride in the drinking water and 4) not being covered by a dental insurance plan. The findings attest to the importance of considering social and environmental factors, in addition to biological variables, when evaluating caries status in young children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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