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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012 Feb;82(1):53-62. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000094.

The relationship between vitamin D and severe early childhood caries: a pilot study.

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University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.



Children with Severe Early Childhood Caries (S-ECC) routinely require dental surgery. S-ECC is known to affect childhood health and well-being. The objective of this pilot study was to assess vitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and determine whether differences exist between children with and without S-ECC.


During July-September 2008, children undergoing surgery for S-ECC < 72 months of age from southern Manitoba were recruited. Age-matched controls were caries-free. Parents completed an interviewed questionnaire. A serum sample was obtained for 25(OH)D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. This study was approved by the University of Manitoba's Ethics Board. Statistics included chi-square analysis, t-tests, and multiple and logistic regression. A p value of <= 0.05 was significant.


Thirty-eight children participated (50 % with S-ECC). There was no significant age difference between groups (p = 0.82). The majority of the entire sample (84.2 %) had inadequate vitamin D levels. Children with S-ECC had lower concentrations of 25(OH)D (52.9 ± 15.1 nmol/L vs. 64.4 ± 21.3, p = 0.032) and were at twice the odds of having inadequate levels (<75 nmol/L). Children with S-ECC also had significantly higher PTH levels than caries-free children (53.5 ± 17.6 cm/L vs. 33.9 ± 12.9, p < 0.001). A greater number with S-ECC had elevated PTH levels (68.4 % vs. 21.1 %, p < 0.01).


This pilot study is the first to report differences in 25(OH)D between those with S-ECC and cavity-free controls. Children with S-ECC have lower vitamin D levels and increased PTH levels compared to age-matched controls.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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