The Epidemiology of Early Childhood Caries

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Chiraporn Khitdee


This review explores the epidemiology of Early Childhood Caries (ECC) worldwide and in Asian countries. The literature search was carried out through PubMed and ScienceDirect databases. Due to only limited evidence published in the Asian region, the prevalence of ECC in Asian countries was derived from the WHO website, a conference report and a conference proceedings book. A total of 17 papers were extracted, while the total number of papers read for qualitative information in this review was 66. The results show that, currently, there are too few surveys reporting appropriate data to indicate the true seriousness of ECC problem, especially, in Asian countries. Moreover, variations in case definition and diagnostic criteria often made the data incomparable. Failure to address the seriousness of the problem, including the presence of non-cavitated lesions and pulpally involved teeth resulted in ECC being underestimated. The negative consequences of ECC and untreated ECC, affected the quality of life among children, their families, communities and health care systems. Therefore, harmonization of ECC definition, criteria and index age in conducting epidemiological data may lead to more understanding of ECC in each country and within the Asian region, and more appropriate and effective measures to tackle the ECC problem. 


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Khitdee C. The Epidemiology of Early Childhood Caries. Th Dent PH J [Internet]. 2017 Jun. 30 [cited 2024 May 30];22(พิเศษ):3-13. Available from:
Original Article


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