Do Signs of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Increase the Odds of Dental Caries? A Case-Control Study

Caries Res 2018;52:212–219


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that can affect one’s performance in activities of daily living and can exert a negative impact on the oral health of children.  
Objective: The aim of this work was to determine the association between ADHD (signs and executive functions) and dental caries in children aged 7–12 years.  

Methods: A case-control study was conducted with 532 children in the city of Diamantina, Brazil. The case group was composed of children with caries and the control group was composed of children without caries. The children were submitted to a clinical oral examination for the determination of caries and neuropsychological evaluations of intellectual function and executive function. Other signs of attention deficit and hyperactivity were investigated using the Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham scale administered to parents/guardians and teachers. Socioeconomic and demographic characteristics were also evaluated. Statistical analysis involved the McNemar χ2 test and conditional logistic regression.  

Results: The multivariate logistic regression model demonstrated that monthly household income and parental reports of signs of attention deficit were significantly associated with the occurrence of dental caries.  

Conclusion: Children considered by their parents/guardians to have attention deficit have a greater chance of exhibiting dental caries, independently of household income.

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