Original Research. The Evaluation of Caries Severity Index and Dental Hypoplasia in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Results from a Romanian Medical Center

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Abstract

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer that most frequently affects children, and its treatment involves intensive chemotherapy, which might interfere with the normal development of dental tissues. The aim of our study was to measure the incidence of dental caries and enamel hypoplasia in children diagnosed with ALL treated according to the Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster-95 (ALL-BFM-95) protocol during the complete remission phase. Two groups of children between 8-12 years of age were investigated: Group 1 consisted of 36 children with ALL, and Group 2 of 58 control age-matched children. The decay-missing-filling index for the deciduous teeth (DMFT) and the presence of hypoplasia in the first permanent molars (MH) or in both incisors and molars (MIH) were recorded. The results were statistically analyzed and showed that there were no differences between the groups regarding the DMFT values (p >0.05), but there was a statistically significant difference in the incidence of MH and MIH between groups (p <0.05). According to our results, chemotherapy was not responsible for the decay process, as there were no differences in DMFT indices between the groups, but the high incidence of MH and MIH in the ALL group indicates the need of a good dental care for these children in order to prevent future dental complications.

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