Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry


Pediatric Dentistry

First Advisor

Tiffany Williams

Second Advisor

Harmeet Chiang

Third Advisor

Tegwyn Brickhouse

Fourth Advisor

Peter Moon

Fifth Advisor

Al Best


Purpose: To determine if there is an association between early childhood caries (ECC) and vitamin D deficiency, as measured via a serum sample. An exploratory goal was to investigate the possibility of measuring vitamin D with a salivary assay. Methods: Serum samples of patients who were scheduled for a dental or otolaryngology procedure under general anesthesia were assessed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), parathyroid hormone and calcium. Results: Our analysis indicates that the vitamin D levels of the controls and ECC group were significantly different. There were significant inverse correlations between: 1) PTH levels and vitamin D and 2) decayed, missing, filled teeth (dmft) and vitamin D. Conclusions: A relationship between low serum levels of vitamin D and the prevalence of ECC for children 0 to 6 years of age was observed. The salivary assay was unable to measure vitamin D, but future studies should still explore this non-invasive technique.


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