Middle ear infection in children and its association with dental caries
Introduction. Middle ear infection affects mostly infants and children, associated with elevated level of S. mutans, which increases the chances of developing caries.
Aim. To evaluate the difference in level of Streptococcus mutans between normal children & children affected by middle ear infection.
Method. This descriptive study was carried out on 120 children aged 5 years and younger. They were selected randomly from schools and medical hospitals. S. mutans was counted from saliva sample and a questionnaire was given to be filled by their parents about the feeding method, pattern and specific childhood illness.
Result. Out of 120 children examined, 62 were boys and 58 were girls. Mean CFU in middle ear infection group was 5.60+9.53, whereas in children with no middle ear infection it was 1.70+3.34. Unpaired ‘t’ test revealed statistically significant difference among the two groups (p value = 0.001).
Conclusion. S. mutans count was comparatively higher in children having middle ear infection rather than non-infected children, which may cause dental caries in the future.