Factors associated with early childhood caries among 3 to 6 year old children in India: A case control study

BACKGROUND: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a multifactorial disease as it is associated with biological, social and behavioral risk factors. However, not much research studied the influence of perinatal factors like birth weight, mode of delivery and gestational age with ECC. Aim of this study is to assess the association between ECC and risk factors, such as Socio-economic status (SES), Body mass index (BMI), Gestation age, birth weight and mode of delivery among Indian children aged 3 to 6 years.
METHODS: In this cross sectional study 690 school children aged 3–6 years were included from five government and primary schools among them 345 were suffering from ECC. Data acquisition involved an oral clinical exam, anthropometric measures and a questionnaire administered in interview form to acquire information on socio-demographic data and Gestational age; mode of delivery; birth weight and socio-economic status. Chi-squared test was used to test the association between categorical variables. Multiple logistic regression analysis used to assess strength of association between risk factors and ECC while controlling known confounders.
RESULTS: Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that male children, increasing age, preterm birth and cesarean section are associated with increased risk of developing ECC.
CONCLUSIONS: Perinatal factors play a vital role in determination ECC burden. Early life interventions and precautions can be useful strategy to control and prevent ECC.

*Corresponding Author: 

Wadgave Umesh, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University Dental College and Hospital, Sangli, Maharashtra, Pin: 416416, India. Tel.: +91 8951363442; E-mail: dr.w.umesh@gmail.com.