Caries Experience in a Sample of Adolescents and Young Adults With Cleft Lip and Palate in Brazil

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To compare the caries experience of adolescents and young adults with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) with a noncleft control group.


Thirty CL/P subjects and 30 controls were clinically examined to obtain the decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) and the decayed, missing and filled surfaces (DMFS) indices, gingival bleeding index, plaque index, and active caries lesions. Data concerning oral hygiene, access to fluoridated water, mother's education level, and family income were also collected.


Pro-Smile Center, a reference center for the treatment of facial deformities, Alfenas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


Subjects aged 12 to 21 years with CL/P and without associated syndromes were matched to noncleft controls by sex, age, living habits, and use of orthodontic devices.

Null Hypothesis Formulated Prior to Data Collection:

Caries experience in CL/P adolescents and young adults is similar to that observed in noncleft controls.

Statistical Analysis:

Data were analyzed using SPSS 17.0 software for Windows Data Editor. The CL/P and control groups were compared using the McNemar test, pairedttest and Wilcoxon test. A significance level of 5% was adopted for all tests.


There were no significant differences between the groups for oral hygiene and contact with fluoride. Significant differences were found in per capita income, presence of active caries, decayed surfaces, plaque index, and gingival bleeding.


The caries experience of CL/P subjects was higher than that of the noncleft individuals.

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