Dental caries is the most common chronic childhood disease. Recent studies have suggested that dental caries harbor respiratory infections in adults. We investigated the association between dental caries and influenza in children. In this study, 42,812 children aged 2.5 years, 38,540 children aged 5.5 years, and 34,124 children aged 10 years were included in the analysis from the Longitudinal Survey of Newborns in the 21st Century in Japan, which targeted all children born during a certain period in 2001. We used information on dental caries treated at hospitals and clinics in the past year as exposure and influenza as outcome during the observation periods (1.5–2.5, 4.5–5.5, and 9–10 years of age). We performed a log-binomial regression analysis, adjusting for potential confounders, and stratified analysis according to previous dental caries status. The presence of dental caries increased the incidence of influenza in all three target ages compared with the absence of dental caries. The incidence of influenza increased with the presence of current dental caries, regardless of the presence of past dental caries. These associations were observed irrespective of household income. Early detection and treatment of dental caries may reduce the risk of influenza in children.
- Birth cohort
- Dental caries
- Oral health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health