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Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2017 Dec;18(4):268-272. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2017.18.04.02.

Evaluation of the relationship between obesity, dental caries and periodontal disease in adolescents.

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Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Rome, Italy.
Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Hepato-Metabolic Disease Unit, Rome, Italy.
University of Naples "Federico II", Department of Neurosciences, Reproductive Sciences and Oral Sciences, Naples, Italy.



To assess the prevalence of caries, oral hygiene quality and periodontal disease in a cohort of obese adolescents compared to a control group.


Study Design: cross-sectional study conducted on 204 subjects (age range 10-16 years). Ninety obese subjects (BMI >90) and 114 normal-weight subjects (BMI <75) were visited at the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital and in a junior high school in Rome, respectively. An ad hoc questionnaire (investigating demographic and oral health behaviour data) was filled in by patients and their caregivers. Accurate oral examinations were conducted. The Decayed-Missing-Filled Teeth/Surfaces Index in both permanent (DMFT/DMFS) and primary dentition (dmft/dmfs), Gingival Bleeding Index (GBI), Visible Plaque Index (VPI), and Probing Depth (PD) were recorded.


data analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 21.0; SPSS IBM, New York, NY). The data of the two groups were compared by means of Student's t Test or the Mann-Whitney test for numerical data and the Chi-square test for categorical data.


Patients affected by obesity, compared with controls, presented less compromised teeth in the primary dentition (dmft obese: 0.30 &#177;± 1.12; normal-weight: 1.00 &#177; 1.90; P<0.001) and less compromised dental surfaces (dmfs obese: 0.51 &#177; 2.14; normal-weight: 1.61 &#177; 3.10; P<0.001). Furthermore obese patients showed minor gingival inflammation with less bleeding on probing (GBI) (obese: 23.95 &#177; 21.43; normal-weight: 38.17&#177; 24.37; P<0.001), and less probing depth in a greater number of sites (PPD &#8804; 3) (obese: 101.92 &#177; 9.27; normal-weight: 97.28 &#177; 12.13; P<0.001). Moreover, the obese group showed a better oral hygiene (VPI) (obese: 25.69 &#177;25.83; normal-weight: 37.72 &#177;24.34; P<0.001).


In our study, obese adolescents showed a better oral hygiene, fewer compromised teeth and better periodontal health when compared with normal-weight patients.

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