Do hemophiliacs have a higher risk for dental caries than the general population?
The aim of this study was to examine if patients with hemophilia were at increased risk for dental decay as compared to the general population.
Census sampling was used in this case-control study to recruit cases (patients with hemophilia) and a control group individuals recruited randomly from the general population, which were matched with cases based on gender, age and place of residence. Clinical examinations included dental health and salivary assessments (flow rate, buffer capacity, caries-associated bacteria) and a structured questionnaire which inquired about socioeconomic status and dental health-related behaviors.
In the deciduous dentition, the overall caries experience (dmf) differed statistically significantly (P=0.003) between the hemophiliacs (2.6±2.6) and their matched healthy controls (6.1±2.5). Bivariate analyses did not reveal significant differences between cases and controls regarding salivary functions, except that higher bacteriological counts were found in healthy controls in deciduous dentitions than in patients with hemophilia (P=0.019). Children without hemophilia were from higher socioeconomic status families than hemophiliacs (P=0.004), but such differences were not found for adults (P=0.090). When compared to healthy adults, adult hemophiliacs had more gum bleeding at rest (P<0.001) as well as during their tooth brushing (P=0.007) and they also consumed more soft drinks than controls (P=0.025).
Better dental health was observed in children with hemophilia as compared to children without it. There were no differences in dental health between adult hemophiliacs and healthy controls from the general population. None of the linear multiple regression models confirmed hemophilia to be an additional caries risk when it was controlled for other caries determinants.
Received 9 April 2014, accepted 6 January 2015, available online 28 January 2015.