Early Childhood Caries Case Study

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Oral health is a vital component of overall health. Despite advances in access to care, quality of health care, and research. Early Childhood Caries (ECC) continues to be a chronic disease in our youth. ECC has been linked to a higher risk of new carious lesions, hospitalizations delayed or insufficient physical development, a lowered learning ability and an increase in emergency room visits. (Tinanoff et all 1997)

Although over the last 20 years we have seen a decrease in the prevalence of dental caries in older children, we have not seen a decrease in the prevalence in children under 5 years of age. In fact, dental caries can be considered the most chronic childhood disease which makes understanding of its etiology that much more important. Early childhood caries are more common than many other treated pathologies. (Tinanoff et all 1997)

Caries are considered an infectious disease of the oral cavity. Bacteria play an important role in the degeneration of the teeth structures. Enamel debilitation due to acid environment is the beginning of a caries lesion. Low pH in the mouth is influenced by the food ingested and bacterial byproducts. Enamel demineralizes due to this change, allowing normal flora to penetrate in deeper areas in
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In a study of 54 mother-child pairs, they looked at the relationship between the mother 's levels of Streptococcus mutans and the levels of their children 2.5 years after birth. They found that children from mothers with high levels of strep mutans were much more likely to also have high levels of strep mutans(OR=2.96.) In addition they found that the these children with high levels of strep mutans also had a higher prevalence of dental caries(OR=9.39)(Kishi et al 2009). Although the passing cariogenic organisms from mother to child is not the only mode of transmission, it is appears to be a large factor affecting early childhood

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