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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 454532, 6 pages
Research Article

Women Are More Susceptible to Caries but Individuals Born with Clefts Are Not

1Departments of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
2Center for Dental and Craniofacial Genetics, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
3Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, USA
4Department of Genetics, Center of Health Sciences, Institute of Biology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
5(ECLAMC) Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations at Hospital de Area El Bolsón, Río Negro, Argentina
6(ECLAMC at CEMIC) Center for Medical Education and Clinical Research, Buenos Aires, Argentina
7(CONICET) National Research Council of Argentina, Argentina
8(INAGEMP-CNPq)National Institute of Population Medical Genetics, Brazil
9(ECLAMC at INAGEMP-CNPq) National Institute of Population Medical Genetics in CEMIC, Buenos Aires, Argentina
10(ECLAMC at IMBICE )Multidisciplinary Institute of Cellular Biology, La Plata, Argentina
11Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA

Received 2 March 2011; Accepted 20 April 2011

Academic Editor: Figen Seymen

Copyright © 2011 Aditi Jindal 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.


The identification of individuals at a higher risk of developing caries is of great interest. Isolated forms of cleft lip and palate are among the most common craniofacial congenital anomalies in humans. Historically, several reports suggest that individuals born with clefts have a higher risk for caries. Caries continues to be the most common infectious noncontagious disease worldwide and a great burden to any health system. The identification of individuals of higher susceptibility to caries is of great interest. In this paper, we assessed caries experience of 1,593 individuals from three distinct populations. The study included individuals born with clefts, their unaffected relatives, and unrelated unaffected controls that were recruited from areas with similar cultural pressures and limited access to dental care. DMFT/dmft scores were obtained, and caries experience rates were compared among the three groups in each geographic area. Individuals born with clefts did not present higher caries experience in comparison to their unaffected relatives or unrelated unaffected controls. Women tend to present higher caries rates in comparison to men. Our work provides strong evidence that individuals born with clefts are not at higher risk to caries; however, women tend to have more severe caries experience.