Aim The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of dental caries in adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM).Method A clinical examination was carried out on 259 adolescents with type 1DM as compared with 259 age- and sex-matched metabolically healthy controls. The DM cases were characterised by postprandial blood glucose and HBA1c levels, duration of the diseases, age at onset and level of control. Dental caries was assessed using the DMFT index. Data were analysed by Shapiro-Wilk's W, ANOVA, Student's t and Tukey's posthoc test.Results An intact dentition was found in none of the DM patients. DM adolescents had a higher mean DMFT score (p<0.001), fewer decayed (p<0.0001), and more filled (p<0.001) teeth than in the controls. In the well-controlled DM adolescents, the mean number of decayed (D) teeth was lower (p<0.0001) and the number of filled(F) teeth was higher than in patients with poorer glycaemic control. Early onset of DM was related to fewer decayed and filled teeth, but only if the oral hygiene was adequate (p<0.0001). Conclusions Poor glycaemic control and the early onset of DM may increase the risk of dental caries, but appropiate oral hygiene together with satisfactory metabolic control may prevent the development of dental caries in adolescents with type 1DM.
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