OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to evaluate tooth eruption in 6- to 14-year-old children with diabetes mellitus.

METHODS. Tooth eruption status was assessed for 270 children with diabetes and 320 control children without diabetes. Data on important diabetes-related variables were collected. Analyses were performed using logistic regression models.

RESULTS. Children with diabetes exhibited accelerated tooth eruption in the late mixed dentition period (10–14 years of age) compared to healthy children. For both case patients and control subjects the odds of a tooth being in an advanced eruptive stage were significantly higher among girls than boys. There was also a trend associating gingival inflammation with expedited tooth eruption in both groups. No association was found between the odds of a tooth being in an advanced stage of eruption and hemoglobin A1c or duration of diabetes. Patients with higher body mass index percentile demonstrated statistically higher odds for accelerated tooth eruption, but the association was not clinically significant.

CONCLUSIONS. Children with diabetes exhibit accelerated tooth eruption. Future studies need to ascertain the role of such aberrations in dental development and complications such as malocclusion, impaired oral hygiene, and periodontal disease. The standards of care for children with diabetes should include screening and referral programs aimed at oral health promotion and disease prevention.

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