Obesity and dental caries: systematic review

Obesidade e cárie dentária: revisão sistemática

Obesidad y caries dental: Revisión Sistemática

Alexandre Emidio Ribeiro Silva Ana Maria Baptista Menezes Flávio Fernando Demarco Fabiana Vargas-Ferreira Marco Aurélio Peres About the authors


Identifying, through a systematic literature review, evidence of a possible association between obesity and dental caries.


A search of articles published between 2005 and January 2012 was performed in the Medline/PubMed, LILACS and Web of Science databases. The quality of scientific evidence of the selected articles was assessed by the items proposed for observational studies in the Downs & Black instrument.


Initially, 537 references were found; after checking the titles and abstracts by two independent researchers, twenty-eight articles were selected for complete reading. Ten of them that assessed the primary and/or permanent dentition observed a positive association between obesity and dental caries and one study found an inverse association. According to the Downs & Black classification, thirteen articles with good scientific evidence were found.


The present review did not find sufficient evidence regarding the association between obesity and dental caries, and it did not clarify the possible role of diet and other possible effect modifiers on this association.

Dental Caries, Epidemiology; Obesity; Observational Studies; Review

Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo Avenida Dr. Arnaldo, 715, 01246-904 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7985 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: revsp@usp.br