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Association of early childhood caries and nutritional status: a scoping review

  • Dwen-Tjin Lui1
  • Rohaya Megat Abdul Wahab1
  • Elavarasi Kuppusamy1
  • Nur Hana Hamzaid2
  • Mohd Rohaizat Hassan3
  • Farinawati Yazid1,*,

1Department of Family Oral Health, Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, KL 50300, Malaysia

2Faculty of Allied Health Sciences (Nutrition & Dietetics), National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, KL 50300, Malaysia

3Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, KL 56000, Malaysia

DOI: 10.22514/jocpd.2023.021 Vol.47,Issue 3,May 2023 pp.11-25

Submitted: 24 November 2022 Accepted: 17 January 2023

Published: 03 May 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Farinawati Yazid E-mail:


The most widespread non-communicable disease in the world is dental caries. Early childhood caries (ECC) is the presence of one or more decayed, missing or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in children between birth and 71 months. The disease has been linked to failure to thrive, impaired speech and reduce food consumption due to pain and discomfort. Nutritional status of a child may also be affected by caries. Thus, we conducted a scoping review to review the association between ECC and nutritional status. A total of 492 articles published until December 2022 from three databases were obtained. 20 relevant articles meeting the inclusion criteria were included. From the included articles, dmft index was the most common dental assessment used, while all articles used anthropometric measurements for nutritional assessment except for two articles that used laboratory methods. Based on the results obtained, majority of the articles stated that there was an association between ECC in children with poor nutritional status, while only one study reported an association between ECC and overweight or obese children. Four papers showed no association. A more standardised and consistent study methodology, sample population and protocol in articles selected may help yield more reliable results.


Growth and development; Anthropometric measurements; Early childhood caries; Newcastle-Ottawa scale

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Dwen-Tjin Lui,Rohaya Megat Abdul Wahab,Elavarasi Kuppusamy,Nur Hana Hamzaid,Mohd Rohaizat Hassan,Farinawati Yazid. Association of early childhood caries and nutritional status: a scoping review. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2023. 47(3);11-25.


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