Vitamin D is an essential hormone for calcium gut absorption. It is also involved in child growth, cancer prevention, immune system responses, and tooth formation. Due to inadequate vitamin D intake and/or decreased sunlight exposure, vitamin D deficiency has resurfaced in developed countries despite known inexpensive and effective preventive methods. Vitamin D deficiency is a common cause of rickets, a condition that affects bone development in children and that can have serious dental complications. Deficiency during pregnancy can cause enamel hypoplasia of primary teeth. Enamel regeneration is currently impossible; hypoplasia is therefore irreversible, and once affected, teeth are prone to fast caries development. Deficiency during early childhood can affect permanent teeth and ensuing caries can sometimes lead to tooth loss at a young age. Oral manifestations of rickets should be diagnosed early by both physicians and dentists to prevent severe dental complications. This case study presents 2 young girls with rickets in early childhood who suffered from subsequent serious tooth decay.
- Accepted October 10, 2013.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics