Effect of treating carious teeth on children’s and adolescents’ anthropometric outcomes: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials

Paisi, Martha Plessas, Anastasios Pampaka, Despina Burns, Lorna Witton, Robert

Effect of treating carious teeth on children’s and adolescents’ anthropometric outcomes: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials

Authors: Paisi, Martha Plessas, Anastasios Pampaka, Despina Burns, Lorna Witton, Robert
doi: 10.1922/CDH_4611Paisi07

Abstract

Objective: To examine the impact of treating carious teeth on children’s and adolescents’ anthropometric outcomes. Basic research design: Four electronic databases and four electronic clinical trials registries were searched. Two reviewers independently conducted the screening, data extraction and critical appraisal. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool for Randomised Controlled Trials was used to assess the risk of bias in the included studies. Results: The searches yielded 399 potential studies. Following deduplication and screening of the papers, four were considered eligible for inclusion of which two referred to the same study. None of the included studies was found to have a high risk of bias in any of the domains. However, performance bias was deemed of unclear risk in all studies. One of the studies found that following extraction of pulpally involved teeth, underweight children exhibited a statistically significant improvement in their weightfor-age (change in mean=0.26; p<0.001) and BMI-for-age z scores (change in mean=0.52, p<0.001) and had a significant weight gain (change in mean=1.2; p<0.001). Two studies showed that dental intervention did not have a significant effect on anthropometric outcomes. Treatment of caries significantly improved children’s oral health-related quality of life in two studies. Conclusions: The evidence into the impact of treating carious teeth on children’s growth is mixed and inconclusive. However, there is consistent evidence that treatment of severely carious teeth can significantly improve children’s oral health-related quality of life. Oral health promotion and strategies to screen for oral health problems and widen dental access should be considered as part of integrated public health programs targeting children. Keywords: Dental Caries, Dental Care for Children, Child Development, Systematic Review

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