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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Comparing caries risk profiles between 5- and 10- year-old children with cleft lip and/or palate and non-cleft controls

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Anna Lena Sundell, Christer Ullbro, Agneta Marcusson, Svante Twetman
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

ALS examined the majority of the examined children and prepared the first draft of the manuscript. ST made substantial contributions to data analysis and assisted with the preparation of the manuscript. Substantial contributions to concept and design of the study were made by ALS, CU, AM and ST. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Previous studies have suggested that children with oral clefts may have higher caries prevalence in comparison with non-cleft controls but the relative importance of the potential risk factors is not clear. The aim of this study was to compare the caries risk profiles in a group of cleft lip and/or palate (CL(P)) children with non-cleft controls in the same age using a computerized caries risk assessment model.


The study group consisted of 133 children with CL(P) (77 subjects aged 5 years and 56 aged 10 years) and 297 non-cleft controls (133 aged 5 years and 164 aged 10 years). A questionnaire was used to collect data concerning the child’s oral hygiene routines, dietary habits and fluoride exposure. Oral hygiene was assessed using Quigley-Hein plaque Index and the caries prevalence and frequency was scored according to the International Caries Detection and Assessment System. Whole saliva samples were analyzed for mutans streptococci, lactobacilli, buffering capacity and secretion rate. The risk factors and risk profiles were compared between the groups with aid of Cariogram and the estimated risk for future caries was categorized as “high” or “low”.


Children with CL(P) (the entire study group) had significantly higher counts of salivary lactobacilli (p < 0.05) and displayed less good oral hygiene (p < 0.05). More 10-year-old children in the CL(P) group had low secretion rate but this difference was not significant. The average chance to avoid caries ranged from 59 to 67 % but there were no significant differences between the groups. The odds of being categorized with high caries risk in the CL(P) group was significantly elevated (OR = 1.89; 95 % CI = 1.25–2.86). In both groups, children in the high risk category had a higher caries experience than those with low risk.


Children with CL(P) displayed increased odds of being categorized at high caries risk with impaired oral hygiene and elevated salivary lactobacilli counts as most influential factors. The results suggest that a caries risk assessment model should be applied in the routine CL(P) care as a basis for the clinical decision-making and implementation of primary and secondary caries prevention.
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