Oral health and caries related microflora in children during the first three months following renal transplantation


V. S. Lucas, Department of Oral Medicine, Eastman Dental Institute, University College London, London WC1X 8LD and Maxillofacial and Dental Department, The Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children, London WC1N 3JH, UK. E-mail: v.lucas@eastman.ucl.ac.uk


There is little information on the oral health of children undergoing renal transplantation during the early transplant period.

Methods.   Twenty-four children undergoing renal transplantation aged 4–13·2 years and their matched controls were recruited. The dmfs, dmft, DMFS and DMFT, plaque, gingivitis and gingival enlargement scores were recorded. The oral microflora was sampled and cultured for S. mutans, Lactobacllus species and Candida species.

Results.   There was a significantly lower mean dmfs (0·3 ± 0·9; P = 0·03), dmft (0·3 ± 0·9; P = 0·03), DMFS (2·3 ± 5·3; P = 0·01) and DMFT (1·5 ± 2·6; P = 0·02), respectively, in the transplant group. There was a significantly greater mean plaque score (14·7 ± 11) for the permanent dentition, at baseline only, compared with 90 days post-transplantation (9·4 ± 10·4; P = 0·02). There was a significantly greater gingival enlargement score (1·8 ± 1·4; P = 0·04) 90 days post-transplantation compared with baseline. The S. mutans and Lactobacillus counts were significantly lower both at baseline (P = 0·0001 and P = 0·004) and 90 days post-transplantation (P = 0·02; and P = 0·05), respectively, compared with the controls.

Conclusions.  The transplant children had less active dental disease than the controls although gingival enlargement needs careful monitoring.