Master of Science in Dentistry
Dr. Tiffany Williams
Purpose: The purpose was to determine differences in serum vitamin D, parathyroid hormone (PTH), and calcium levels between patients with early childhood caries (ECC) and patients without dental decay.
Materials and Methods: Serum vitamin D, PTH, and calcium levels were obtained from 30 children without dental decay who acted as controls and 60 children with ECC. A questionnaire was filled out by the parent/guardian of each participant consisting of questions regarding medical and dental history, exposure to sources of vitamin D and demographic information.
Results: The difference in the vitamin D levels of the participants was most strongly associated with race. African American participants demonstrated lower levels of vitamin D than non-African Americans. After adjusting for race- related differences there was no significant difference in the Vitamin D levels in the ECC cases and the healthy controls.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that vitamin D levels, at least among non-African Americans, are unrelated to caries development. Future research in this area must control for important confounding factors such as skin pigmentation, season of measurement of serum vitamin D, sun exposure, fluoride exposure, water fluoridation status and tooth brushing in order to allow for vitamin D levels to be better tested against caries experience.
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