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Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014 Jan;16(1):e9684. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.9684. Epub 2014 Jan 5.

Relationship between dietary patterns and dental health in type I diabetic children compared with healthy controls.

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Departmant of Pedodontics, Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, IR Iran.
Departemant of Nutrition, Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, IR Iran.
Departemant of Orthodontics, Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz IR Iran.



Dietary habits are established in childhood and will persist until adulthood, being one of the human health pillars. Many diseases of humans have roots in the individuals' diet, of which dental caries are one of the common infectious diseases. Diabetes Mellitus is also considered as the most common metabolic disorder in children.


The purpose of this study was to compare the dietary patterns of children with type I Diabetes Mellitus with that of non-diabetic children, in relation to dental caries.


In this study, 31 patients (13 boys and 18 girls, mean age of 11 ± 5.4 years) with type I Diabetes Mellitus referred to the Diabetes Mellitus Center and university hospitals were selected. Controls were 31 healthy students matched for age and sex. The study was based on the data obtained from the questionnaire containing information about dietary patterns and oral hygiene habits, social class and decayed/missing/filled teeth (DMFT) index. Dietary patterns were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire developed on the basis of caries preventing or inducing foods and then scored. Data were analyzed by using the t-test and McNamara's test.


Diabetic children had less frequent cariogenic snacks than their controls. The mean diet scores for diabetic and healthy subjects were 7.65 ± 3.27 and 11.9 ± 2.03 (P < 0.05), respectively. There was no significant difference in DMFT between the diabetics and controls (3.71 ± 2.48 vs. 4.35 ± 2.74, respectively). There were also no differences in frequency of tooth brushing and use of mouth washes. However, more diabetics reported that they have never used dental floss compared to controls (42.2% vs. 71%, P < 0.05). Having cheese with bread as snack was more prevalent in diabetics (P < 0.05).There was a positive correlation between DMFT and dietary scores (r = 0.3, P < 0.05).


Controls scored higher in their dietary habits and dental flossing but lower in tooth brushing and mouth washing. More diabetics tend to have snacks like cheese and bread, which is a caries-preventing habit.


Dental Caries; Diabetes Mellitus; Diet

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