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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 629675, 5 pages
Research Article

Relationship between Untreated Dental Caries and Weight and Height of 6- to 12-Year-Old Primary School Children in Bangladesh

1Dhaka Dental College Hospital, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
2University College London, Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, London WC1E 6BT, UK
3Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
4Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Ashland, VA 23298-0565, USA
5Oregon Health & Science University, School of Dentistry, 611 SW Campus Drive, Portland, OR 97239-3097, USA

Received 6 November 2012; Revised 12 March 2013; Accepted 20 March 2013

Academic Editor: Stefano Fedele

Copyright © 2013 Masuma Pervin Mishu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Children in low-income developing countries are likely to suffer from undergrowth. Dental caries is another common problem in these countries. Aim. To examine the association between untreated dental caries in primary and permanent teeth with age-adjusted height and weight among 6–12-year-old children in Bangladesh. Design. Social, behavioural, and clinical data were collected from 1699 children in nine different randomly selected primary schools in socially deprived areas of Bangladesh. The associations of age-adjusted weight and height and being underweight with dental caries were examined adjusting for sex, area of residence, socioeconomic position, skipping meals, tooth cleaning, and doctor visits. Results. 26% of the children were underweight and 55% had untreated dental caries. Children with at least one decayed tooth were significantly underweight with odds ratios 1.6 (95% CI 1.1, 2.3) and 1.5 (95% CI 1.1, 2.0) for 6–8-years and 9–12-year-old children, respectively, in the adjusted model. The number of decayed teeth was inversely and significantly associated with the standardized age-adjusted weight. Conclusions. The findings highlight the association between untreated dental caries and being underweight in primary school children in socially deprived areas in low-income developing countries and emphasize the need to integrate oral and general health policies with social policies.