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Pediatr Int. 2019 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/ped.13801. [Epub ahead of print]

Dental Caries and Vitamin D Status among Children in Asia: A literature review.

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Centre of Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics Studies, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor, Malaysia.
Centre of Restorative Dentistry Studies, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor, Malaysia.
Department of Preventive Dental Science, College of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Department of Paediatrics, & Child Health, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada.


Dental caries and vitamin D inadequacy are known to affect children worldwide. Vitamin D has a vital role in tooth formation. There is growing evidence linking suboptimal serum vitamin D level with dental caries in children. This paper reviews the literature on both the prevalence of dental caries and vitamin D deficiency among children in four Asian regions, discusses their associated risk factors, and reviews the global evidence on the association between dental caries and vitamin D in children. Caries prevalence among children ranged from 40% to 97% % in Eastern Asia, 38%-73.7% in Southern Asia, and 26.5%-74.7% in Western Asian countries. Moreover, a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among Asian children was identified, even in countries in equatorial regions, ranging from 2.8% to 65.3% in Eastern Asia, 5%-66.7% in Southern Asia, 4%-45.5% in Western Asia and 38.1%-78.7% in Central Asian countries. Obesity, age, female gender, higher latitude, season, darker skin pigmentation, sunlight protection behaviours, less sunlight exposure and low intake of foods containing vitamin D were important factors associated with lower serum vitamin D levels in Asia. Suboptimal levels of vitamin D in children may be a significant risk factor for dental caries, which requires further research to ascertain such association among children in Asia as well as understand its exact influence on caries risk and development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Asia; Children; Dental caries; Early Childhood Caries; Vitamin D


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