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1.  Tobacco use and caries risk among adolescents – a longitudinal study in Sweden 
BMC Oral Health  2013;13:31.
Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco have a detrimental impact on general and oral health. The relationship to dental caries is however still unclear. As caries is a multi-factorial disease with clear life-style, socio-economic and socio-demographic gradients, the tobacco use may be a co-variable in this complex rather than a direct etiological factor. Our aim was to analyze the impact of tobacco use on caries incidence among adolescents, with consideration to socio-economic variables by residency, using epidemiological data from a longitudinal study in the region of Halland, Sweden.
The study population consisted of 10,068 adolescents between 16–19 years of age from whom yearly data on caries and tobacco use (cigarette smoking and use of smokeless tobacco) were obtained during the period 2006–2012. Reported DMFS increment between 16 and 19 years of age (∆DMFS) for an individual was considered as the primary caries outcome. The outcome data were compared for self-reported never vs. ever users of tobacco, with consideration to neighborhood-level socio-economy (4 strata), baseline (i.e., 16 years of age) DMFS and sex. The region consists of 65 parishes with various socio-economic conditions and each study individual was geo-coded with respect to his/her residence parish. Neighborhood (parish-level) socio-economy was assessed by proportion of residing families with low household purchasing power.
∆DMFS differed evidently between ever and never users of tobacco (mean values: 1.8 vs. 1.2; proportion with ∆DMFS > 0: 54.2% vs. 40.5%; p < 0.0001). Significant differences were observed in each neighborhood-level socio-economic stratum. Even after controlling for baseline DMFS and sex, ∆DMFS differed highly significantly between the ever and never users of tobacco (overall p < 0.0001).
Tobacco use was clearly associated with increased caries increment during adolescence. Hence, this factor is relevant to consider in the clinical caries risk assessment of the individual patient as well as for community health plans dealing with oral health.
PMCID: PMC3723799  PMID: 23855639
Adolescents; Caries; Tobacco use; Socio-economy; Prevention
2.  Growth inhibition of oral mutans streptococci and candida by commercial probiotic lactobacilli - an in vitro study 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:18.
Probiotic bacteria are suggested to play a role in the maintenance of oral health. Such health promoting bacteria are added to different commercial probiotic products. The aim of the study was to investigate the ability of a selection of lactobacilli strains, used in commercially available probiotic products, to inhibit growth of oral mutans streptococci and C. albicans in vitro.
Eight probiotic lactobacilli strains were tested for growth inhibition on three reference strains and two clinical isolates of mutans streptococci as well as two reference strains and three clinical isolates of Candida albicans with an agar overlay method.
At concentrations ranging from 109 to 105 CFU/ml, all lactobacilli strains inhibited the growth of the mutans streptococci completely with the exception of L. acidophilus La5 that executed only a slight inhibition of some strains at concentrations corresponding to 107 and 105 CFU/ml. At the lowest cell concentration (103 CFU/ml), only L. plantarum 299v and L. plantarum 931 displayed a total growth inhibition while a slight inhibition was seen for all five mutans streptococci strains by L. rhamnosus LB21, L. paracasei F19, L. reuteri PTA 5289 and L. reuteri ATCC 55730. All the tested lactobacilli strains reduced candida growth but the effect was generally weaker than for mutans streptococci. The two L. plantarum strains and L. reuteri ATCC 55730 displayed the strongest inhibition on Candida albicans. No significant differences were observed between the reference strains and the clinical isolates.
The selected probiotic strains showed a significant but somewhat varying ability to inhibit growth of oral mutans streptococci and Candida albicans in vitro.
PMCID: PMC2908555  PMID: 20598145
3.  Geo-mapping of caries risk in children and adolescents - a novel approach for allocation of preventive care 
BMC Oral Health  2011;11:26.
Dental caries in children is unevenly distributed within populations with a higher burden in low socio-economy groups. Thus, tools are needed to allocate resources and establish evidence-based programs that meet the needs of those at risk. The aim of the study was to apply a novel concept for presenting epidemiological data based on caries risk in the region of Halland in southwest Sweden, using geo-maps.
The study population consisted of 46,536 individuals between 3-19 years of age (75% of the eligible population) from whom caries data were reported in 2010. Reported dmfs/DMFS>0 for an individual was considered as the primary caries outcome. Each study individual was geo-coded with respect to his/her residence parish. A parish-specific relative risk (RR) was calculated as the observed-to-expected ratio, where the expected number of individuals with dmfs/DMFS>0 was obtained from the age- and sex-specific caries (dmfs/DMFS>0) rates for the total study population. Smoothed caries risk geo-maps, along with corresponding statistical certainty geo-maps, were produced by using the free software Rapid Inquiry Facility and the ESRI® ArcGIS system.
The geo-maps of preschool children (3-6 years), schoolchildren (7-11 years) and adolescents (12-19 years) displayed obvious geographical variations in caries risk, albeit most marked among the preschoolers. Among the preschool children the smoothed relative risk (SmRR) varied from 0.33 to 2.37 in different parishes. With increasing age, the contrasts seemed to diminish although the gross geographical risk pattern persisted also among the adolescents (SmRR range 0.75-1.20).
Geo-maps based on caries risk may provide a novel option to allocate resources and tailor supportive and preventive measures within regions with sections of the population with relatively high caries rates.
PMCID: PMC3198761  PMID: 21943023
caries; children; prevention; geo-mapping
4.  Geo-mapping of time trends in childhood caries risk a method for assessment of preventive care 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:9.
Dental caries is unevenly distributed within populations with a higher burden in low socio-economy groups. Several attempts have been made to allocate resources to those that need them the most; there is a need for convenient approaches to population-based monitoring of caries risk over time. The aim of this study was to develop the geo-map concept, addressing time trends in caries risk, and demonstrate the novel approach by analyzing epidemiological data from preschool residents in the region of Halland, Sweden.
The study population consisted of 9,973 (2006) and 10,927 (2010) children between 3 to 6years of age (~77% of the eligible population) from whom caries data were obtained. Reported dmfs>0 for a child was considered as the primary caries outcome. Each study individual was geo-coded with respect to his/her residence parish (66 parishes in the region). Smoothed caries risk geo-maps, along with corresponding statistical certainty geo-maps, were produced by using the free software Rapid Inquiry Facility and the ESRI ArcGIS system. Parish-level socioeconomic data were available.
The overall proportion of caries-free (dmfs=0) children improved from 84.0% in 2006 to 88.6% in 2010. The ratio of maximum and minimum (parish-level) smoothed relative risks (SmRRs) increased from 1.76/0.44=4.0 in 2006 to 2.37/0.33=7.2 in 2010, which indicated an increased geographical polarization of early childhood caries in the population. Eight parishes showed evidential, positional changes in caries risk between 2006 and 2010; their corresponding SmRRs and statistical certainty ranks changed markedly. No considerable parallel changes in parish-level socioeconomic characteristics were seen during the same time period.
Geo-maps based on caries risk can be used to monitor changes in caries risk over time. Thus, geo-mapping offers a convenient tool for evaluating the effectiveness of tailored health promotion and preventive care in child populations.
PMCID: PMC3474168  PMID: 22510486
Caries; Children; Prevention; Geo-mapping; Time trend
5.  Comparing caries risk profiles between 5- and 10- year-old children with cleft lip and/or palate and non-cleft controls 
BMC Oral Health  2015;15:85.
Previous studies have suggested that children with oral clefts may have higher caries prevalence in comparison with non-cleft controls but the relative importance of the potential risk factors is not clear. The aim of this study was to compare the caries risk profiles in a group of cleft lip and/or palate (CL(P)) children with non-cleft controls in the same age using a computerized caries risk assessment model.
The study group consisted of 133 children with CL(P) (77 subjects aged 5 years and 56 aged 10 years) and 297 non-cleft controls (133 aged 5 years and 164 aged 10 years). A questionnaire was used to collect data concerning the child’s oral hygiene routines, dietary habits and fluoride exposure. Oral hygiene was assessed using Quigley-Hein plaque Index and the caries prevalence and frequency was scored according to the International Caries Detection and Assessment System. Whole saliva samples were analyzed for mutans streptococci, lactobacilli, buffering capacity and secretion rate. The risk factors and risk profiles were compared between the groups with aid of Cariogram and the estimated risk for future caries was categorized as “high” or “low”.
Children with CL(P) (the entire study group) had significantly higher counts of salivary lactobacilli (p < 0.05) and displayed less good oral hygiene (p < 0.05). More 10-year-old children in the CL(P) group had low secretion rate but this difference was not significant. The average chance to avoid caries ranged from 59 to 67 % but there were no significant differences between the groups. The odds of being categorized with high caries risk in the CL(P) group was significantly elevated (OR = 1.89; 95 % CI = 1.25–2.86). In both groups, children in the high risk category had a higher caries experience than those with low risk.
Children with CL(P) displayed increased odds of being categorized at high caries risk with impaired oral hygiene and elevated salivary lactobacilli counts as most influential factors. The results suggest that a caries risk assessment model should be applied in the routine CL(P) care as a basis for the clinical decision-making and implementation of primary and secondary caries prevention.
PMCID: PMC4514989  PMID: 26208495
Cleft lip; Cleft palate; Cleft lip and/or palate; Caries risk; Cariogram; Children
6.  Caries risk assessment in young adults: a 3 year validation of the Cariogram model 
BMC Oral Health  2015;15:17.
To validate baseline caries risk classifications according to the Cariogram model with the actual caries development over a 3-year period in a group of young adults living in Sweden.
The study group consisted of 1,295 19-year-old patients that completed a comprehensive clinical baseline examination, including radiographs and salivary tests. An individual caries risk profile was computed and the patient was placed in one of five risk categories. After 3 years, 982 patients (75.8%) were re-examined and caries increment for each patient was calculated. The outcome was expressed as sensitivity, specificity and predictive values and compared with a risk assessment scheme used in Public Dental Service.
The drop-outs displayed more risk factors and a significantly higher caries burden at baseline compared with those that remained in the project (p < 0.05). There was a strong association between the Cariogram risk categories and the 3-year caries increment on cavity level but the predictive values were modest. The high or very high caries risk categories yielded high specificities (>90%) but poor sensitivities. The low risk groups displayed higher sensitivities on expense of impaired specificities. No combinations proved clinically useful values according to Yuoden’s index.
Within the limitations of the present study, the computer-based Cariogram did not perform better than a caries risk assessment scheme based on past caries experience and caries progression, over a 3-year period in young adults.
PMCID: PMC4328811  PMID: 25627618
Lactobacilli; Mutans streptococci; Risk factors; Saliva
7.  Acid production in dental plaque after exposure to probiotic bacteria 
BMC Oral Health  2012;12:44.
The increasing interest in probiotic lactobacilli in health maintenance has raised the question of potential risks. One possible side effect could be an increased acidogenicity in dental plaque. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of probiotic lactobacilli on plaque lactic acid (LA) production in vitro and in vivo.
In the first part (A), suspensions of two lactobacilli strains (L. reuteri DSM 17938, L. plantarum 299v) were added to suspensions of supragingival dental plaque collected from healthy young adults (n=25). LA production after fermentation with either xylitol or fructose was analyzed. In the second part (B), subjects (n=18) were given lozenges with probiotic lactobacilli (L. reuteri DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 5289) or placebo for two weeks in a double-blinded, randomized cross-over trial. The concentration of LA in supragingival plaque samples was determined at baseline and after 2 weeks. Salivary counts of mutans streptococci (MS) and lactobacilli were estimated with chair-side methods.
Plaque suspensions with L. reuteri DSM 17938 produced significantly less LA compared with L. plantarum 299v or controls (p<0.05). Fructose gave higher LA concentrations than xylitol. In part B, there were no significant differences in LA production between baseline and follow up in any of the groups and no differences between test and placebo were displayed. The salivary MS counts were not significantly altered during the intervention but the lactobacilli counts increased significantly in the test group (p<0.05).
Lactic acid production in suspensions of plaque and probiotic lactobacilli was strain-dependant and the present study provides no evidence of an increase in plaque acidity by the supply of selected probiotic lactobacilli when challenged by fructose or xylitol. The study protocol was approved by The Danish National Committee on Biomedical Research Ethics (protocol no H-2-2010-112).
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3504569  PMID: 23092239
8.  Caries risk assessment in school children using a reduced Cariogram model without saliva tests 
BMC Oral Health  2010;10:5.
To investigate the caries predictive ability of a reduced Cariogram model without salivary tests in schoolchildren.
The study group consisted of 392 school children, 10-11 years of age, who volunteered after informed consent. A caries risk assessment was made at baseline with aid of the computer-based Cariogram model and expressed as "the chance of avoiding caries" and the children were divided into five risk groups. The caries increment (ΔDMFS) was extracted from the dental records and bitewing radiographs after 2 years. The reduced Cariogram was processed by omitting the variables "salivary mutans streptococci", "secretion rate" and "buffer capacity" one by one and finally all three. Differences between the total and reduced models were expressed as area under the ROC-curve.
The baseline caries prevalence in the study population was 40% (mean DMFS 0.87 ± 1.35) and the mean 2-year caries increment was 0.51 ± 1.06. Both Cariogram models displayed a statistically relationship with caries development (p < 0.05); more caries was found among those assessed with high risk compared to those with low risk. The combined sensitivity and specificity decreased after exclusion of the salivary tests and a statistically significant reduction of the area under the ROC-curve was displayed compared with the total Cariogram (p < 0.05). Among the salivary variables, omission of the mutans streptococci enumeration impaired the predictive ability the most.
The accuracy of caries prediction in school children was significantly impaired when the Cariogram model was applied without enumeration of salivary tests.
PMCID: PMC2864191  PMID: 20403163

Results 1-8 (8)