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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


THOMAZ, Erika Bárbara Abreu Fonseca  and  VALENCA, Ana Maria Gondim. Relationship between childhood underweight and dental crowding in deciduous teething. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2009, vol.85, n.2, pp.110-116. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between low anthropometric indices and dental crowding in deciduous teething. METHODS: We assessed 794 children from 3 to 5 years old, both boys and girls, enrolled in public preschools in the city of São Luís, state of Maranhão, Brazil. Single-stage cluster sampling was used. This is a cross-sectional study, including the administration of a questionnaire, evaluation of dental occlusion and anthropometric assessment. Dental crowding, which is characterized by lack of space for the eruption of teeth in the line of the alveolar crest, is the dependent variable. Weight-for-age (W/A) and height-for-age (H/A) indices were used for anthropometric assessments. Multivariate logistic regression analysis and descriptive analysis of the variables were used. Associations were estimated using odds ratio (OR), and the statistical inference was based on confidence intervals (95%CI). Type I error was set at 5% (alpha = 5%). RESULTS: The association between low anthropometric measures and dental crowding was statistically significant only when considering the weight-for-age index and among those children who did not use pacifiers. We found 2.19 children with dental crowding and malnutrition for each children without dental crowding and with malnutrition (OR = 2.19; 95%CI 1.19-4.04). CONCLUSION: This study suggests that low anthropometric measures are associated with dental crowding in deciduous teething among children who do not use pacifiers. However, further studies are needed to investigate possible causal relations between malnutrition and dental crowding.

Keywords : Malocclusion; anthropometry; epidemiological surveys; preschool-aged child.

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