Dental caries in children with asthma undergoing treatment with short-acting beta2-agonists

S Mazzoleni, E Stellini, E Cavaleri, A Angelova Volponi, R Ferro, S Fochesato Colombani

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41 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: This study sought to evaluate possible higher risk for dental caries among asthmatic children undergoing treatment with short-acting beta2-agonists.

METHODS: Dental clinical assessments, saliva analysis and a questionnaire survey were carried out on 60 children aged 6-12, of whom 30 were asthmatic subjects undergoing treatment with short-acting beta2-agonists and 30 were used as controls. The obtained data for DMFT/dmft scores, Silness-Löe plaque index, buffer capacity and bacteria counts for Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus in the saliva, oral hygiene and dietary habits were compared using Student t-test and Pearson chi-square test.

RESULTS: We registered a higher DMFT score among asthmatics of 1.2-/+1.8 (SD) and 0.3-/+0.8 among non-asthmatic patients (p<0.05), while comparison of dmft scores between the examined groups showed not significant (Student t-test). Saliva analysis revealed lower buffer capacity in 43.3% of the asthmatic children, followed by higher cariogenic bacteria counts in their saliva (p<0.05 Student t-test). These results show the lower plaque index in the asthmatic group (1.6+/-0.4) compared with the control (2.1+/-0.3). Asthmatic children expressed better oral-health habits with more frequent tooth- brushing and usage of fluorides.

CONCLUSION: The results from our study suggest a higher caries-susceptibility among asthmatic children undergoing treatment with short-acting beta2-agonists, but a clear association between these drugs, salivary changes and dental caries among children, still remains to be demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Asthma
  • Buffers
  • Cariostatic Agents
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Fluorides
  • Food Habits
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactobacillus
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Risk Factors
  • Saliva
  • Streptococcus mutans
  • Toothbrushing


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