Oral health status in children undergoing chemotherapy at Erbil city: A case control study.
Keywords:leukemia, child, oral health, dental caries
Background: Chemotherapy is a well-known effective treatment for cancer but is associated with many side effects including that of the dental and oral aspects, which have an impact on the overall/general health-related quality of life. This study aimed to assess oral health status in a specified age group of pediatric patients who were undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the time of the study as well as identify the factor that indirectly contributes to their OHS and compare the results with healthy children of similar age.
Methods: One hundred children who were treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at Nanakali specialized hospital for hematologic diseases and cancer, in addition to fifty healthy controls at Khanzad teaching hospital were examined. Data on decayed, missing and filled teeth as (DMFT/dmft) scores and simplified plaque index (PI) were collected through and intra-oral examination.
Result: A high statistically significant difference of a p-value of 0.000 was seen in the dmft caries index for (primary dentition) with the highest mean (5.32) for the controls when compared with the children undergoing chemotherapy (2.84), while no statically significant differences were found in the DMFT for (permanent dentition) and PI. Moreover, among the factors indirectly associated with oral health status (OHS), it turned out that between both groups mother’s education, occupation, frequency of child’s tooth brushing, and age were the most common contributing factors to the child’s OHS.
Conclusion: Children affected by hematological diseases showed higher rates of plaque but with no significant differences when compared to the controls. Healthy subjects had significantly higher rates of caries in their primary teeth when compared with leukemic children, while no significant differences were seen in the permanent dentition. And among the factors indirectly associated with oral health status (OHS), it turned out that between both groups mother’s education, occupation, frequency of child’s tooth brushing and age were the most common contributing factors to the child’s OHS.
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