BACKGROUND: Special Olympics (SO) events represent an opportunity to obtain considerable information regarding intellectual disable (ID) patients. Studies done with SO data have shown an overview of the oral health status of these athletes; however, no information exists regarding the erosive tooth wear (ETW). Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine the presence and severity of ETW in athletes with ID who participated in the SO Belgium 2016.

METHODS: The study population consisted in 232 athletes with ID who participated in the SO special smiles program, Belgium 2016. For analysis, the sample was divided in three groups: a) athletes with ID under the age of 25 not diagnosed with Down Syndrome (DS) (n = 174), b) athletes with DS under the age of 25 (n = 39) and c) athletes with DS from 25 and older ages (n = 58). Two calibrated dentists performed dental examinations using the Basic Erosive Wear Examination Index (BEWE). The BEWE sum > 0 was used to determine prevalence of ETW. Severity was determined by two- indicators: 1) By risk levels (low, medium and high risk) proposed by the BEWE index, and 2) by the highest score reached per subject in at least one tooth (BEWE1, 2 or 3). Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to detect significant differences among different groups (p < 0.05).

RESULTS: The prevalence of ETW for young athletes with ID was 51.14%. Within these athletes, the DS group presented a significant higher mean BEWE sum (4.67, SD 5.64) and prevalence of ETW (69.2%BEWE> 0) when compared to athletes without DS (mean BEWE sum: 1.96, SD 3.47 and 46.3% BEWE> 0; p < 0.05). Furthermore, a significantly higher percentage of athletes with DS were considered at high risk of ETW (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: As a conclusion, half of the young athletes with ID presented at least one affected surface with ETW. The recorded prevalence and severity of ETW for the younger group of athletes with DS was distinctly higher than the athletes with ID not having DS. This shows the need to generate knowledge in order to provide correct management and prevention of erosive tooth wear in populations with ID.

Original languageEnglish
Article number727
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Oral Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019

    Research areas

  • Down syndrome, Erosive tooth wear, Patients with intellectual disability, Special Olympics athletes

ID: 44605510