Title: Dental caries and bone mineral density: a cross sectional study
Abstract: Aim The relationship between bone mineral density (BMD), age and dental caries has been studied. Quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) is an economic, non invasive, and reproducible method for measuring both bone mineral density and bone elasticity in growing subjects in large populations. Methods This study evaluated the relationship between BMD and prevalence of dental caries (Decayed Missing Filled Tooth - DMFT) in 540 healthy adolescent with mean age 12.3 years, age range 10 to 15 years, resident in two provinces in south Italy. BMD was measured using QUS by calculating the speed of sound (m/s) on the last four fingers of the non dominant hand, with the estimate thus obtained being defined as the AD-SoS (Amplitude-Dependent Speed of Sound and categorised as AD-SoS¡Ü1900m/s and AD-SoS>1900m/s). Occurrence of dental caries was defined using the DMFT index (DMFT=0 and DMFT>0). Results The results of the multifactorial analysis, carried out with logistic model, confirms the expected statistically significant association between response (DMFT) and explicative variables - AD-SoS (P<0.006) and Age (P<0.004). Conclusion Greater bone mineralisation (ADSoS> 1900m/s) and younger age (Age ¡Ü12 years) are dental caries prevention factors: the probability to have caries for the subjects in such conditions is 0,34, about the half of that recorded in the subjects with lower bone mineralisation and older age (0,62).