Epilepsy Medication and Dental Caries Risk

A recent study finds children who suffer from Epilepsy and take liquid oral medication long-term are at higher risk for dental caries. Using a Caries Risk Assessment form that asks the question about medication use and ‘other health issues’ could help identify these children and allow an opportunity to provide protective intervention and or offer parents suggestions on how to neutralize the mouth after taking medication each day. Chronic health issues like asthma and diabetes tend to be on our radar as practitioners, but being aware of other medical issues and their implications on oral health are imperative to our diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Do you know if you have children with Epilepsy in your practice? Or do you have a child with Epilepsy who takes medication? This article is for you!

Comparison of Dental Caries Experience in Children Suffering From Epilepsy with and without Administration of Long Term Liquid Oral Medication.
Goyal A1, Bhadravathi MC2, Kumar A3, Narang R1, Gupta A4, Singh H5.

 

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:
Sucrose is added as sweetening agent in liquid oral medication (LOM) to mask the acrid taste of medicines which may be potentially cariogenic. Many children under long term LOM therapy for treatment of epilepsy may be susceptible to dental caries.
AIM:
To assess and compare dental caries experience in children under long term liquid oral medication with those not under such medication among 2-12 years old children suffering from epilepsy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A cross-sectional study was undertaken on a total of 84 children aged 2-12 years, who were suffering from epilepsy receiving liquid oral medication for more than 3 months were selected (study group) and for comparison 106 children of similar age group and disease but on other forms of medication were included as control group. Dental caries was assessed using DMFT/DMFS (Decayed, Missing, Fillled Teeth / Surfaces), dmft/dft and dmfs/dfs indices. One-way ANOVA and t-test were used with p-value fixed at 0.05. Univariate logistic regression was applied.
RESULTS:
Children on LOM were at increased risk of dental caries than those with other forms of medications (OR: 2.55, 95% CI (2.37-4.15) p=0.000, HS). Caries prevalence was high in the study group (76.1%) when compared to control group (55.6%).
CONCLUSION:
Long term use of liquid medicines containing sucrose is a risk factor for dental caries among children with epilepsy.

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