Background: Associations between body mass index (BMI) and caries have been reported. Aim: To evaluate the direction of the relationship between BMI and severe early childhood caries (S-ECC). Design: Children were recruited as part of a larger prospective cohort study assessing changes in nutritional status following dental rehabilitation under general anaesthetic. Pre-operative anthropometric measurements were used to calculate BMI z-scores (BMIz). Operative reports were reviewed to calculate caries scores based on treatment rendered. Analysis included descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and simple and multiple linear regression. Results: Overall, 150 children were recruited with a mean age of 47.7 ± 14.2 (SD) months; 52% female. Over 42% were at risk for overweight, overweight or obese. Although simple linear regression demonstrated a significant positive association between dmfs score and BMIz, adjusted multiple linear regression found no significant relationship between BMIz and dmfs, but highlighted a relationship between BMI z-score and family income, Registered First Nations Status and physical activity. Conclusions: Although a significant relationship between BMI and S-ECC was not found, poverty was a key confounding variable. As both S-ECC and obesity are known predictors of future disease, it is important for healthcare professionals to identify children at risk. Diet and behaviour modification may play a role in disease prevention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes