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Prevalence of dental decay and periodontal diseases among children suffering from congenital heart diseases. A literature review - part I

Teodora Nikolova, Radosveta Andreeva, Milena Georgieva, Petar Shivachev


Congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of the most common congenital anomalies with an incidence of approximately 8-10 cases per 1000 live births. The etiology behind cardiac developmental disturbances is unknown for a majority of cases.
It is known that children with CHD frequently require regular long-term medication, but the knowledge of oral health effects, caused by long-term medication in medically compromised children, is sparse. If left untreated, CHD is the single greatest cause of death during the neonatal period after full-time pregnancies in the industrialized part of the world.
A number of studies have been carried out on the caries prevalence in children with CHD, but only five of them were controlled studies. According to one of them children with CHD had a higher number of registered periodontal sites with plaque and gingival inflammation than the healthy control group of children, although nearly all examined patients had plaque registered. Children with CHD had higher mean values of dmft/DMFT indices than healthy children and only a few of them had dental fillings, indicating an unmet need for operative treatment.
Today surgical treatment is successful for the majority of children born with CHD. The median age of children subjected to heart surgery today is below 2 years of age. We need to continuously improve the oral health by providing education and training for both dental and medical health care specialists on oral health problems and their prevention in this new group of patients.


congenital heart disease (CHD); dental decay; periodontal disease; children; risk factors; medication

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About The Authors

Teodora Nikolova
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Medical University of Varna

Radosveta Andreeva
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Medical University of Varna

Milena Georgieva
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Medical University of Varna

Petar Shivachev


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