Background: Caries is recognized as the prevalent proximal dental disease in adolescents, while proximal bone loss is minimal to non-existent in this population. Adolescents demonstrating an inverse disease pattern, i.e., minimal caries and active periodontitis, could provide powerful clues with regard to both diseases. However, data are inconsistent. This study was designed to clarify this relationship by comparing proximal caries prevalence in a juvenile periodontitis (JP) group to a matched non-periodontally diseased control group. Methods: Two groups (cases [JPs] and control patients [CPs]) were matched for age, sex, and race and evaluated for decayed, missing, filled teeth and surfaces (DMFS) by radiographic analysis. Statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA and Student t test. The study consisted of four phases. Phase I was based on data from a previous study that failed to include race in the analysis. Thus, the original 23 JP patients (mostly African-Americans from New York City) were rematched for race as well as sex and age with CPs from Newark, NJ. The effect of water fluoridation (found in NYC) was evaluated in Phase II by matching the 23 original CPs (mostly Caucasian from NYC) with 23 CPs from NJ. Since differences were seen, we rematched our original JPs from NYC with a new set of race-matched CPs from NYC (Phase III). Finally, 13 JP patients from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) were matched with CPs from NJ (Phase IV). Results: Phase I and III indicated that JP patients had significantly less proximal caries than their matched CPs (P ≤0.05). Phase II confirmed the role of fluoride in caries reduction. Phase IV (NJ sample) supported our previous data and suggested that JP patients had less proximal caries than CPs (P ≤0.05). Conclusions: JP patients had significantly less proximal caries than their matched CPs when groups were balanced and radiographic evaluations were performed. In-depth studies of JP patients could provide important clues about both caries and periodontal disease etiology and pathogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical trials, controlled
- Dental caries/epidemiology
- Dental caries/etiology
- Periodontitis, juvenile/epidemiology
- Periodontitis, juvenile/etiology