Preterm Birth and Breastfeeding Are Related to Gastroesophageal Reflux Onset: An Observational Cross-Sectional Study
1. Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy;
2. Biomedical Section, Tecnologica Research Institute, Crotone, Italy.
This study has been aimed to investigate about the relationship between pediatric oral and systemic pathologies coexisting with preterm birth condition. 640 children born in L'Aquila (Italy) in 2007 were selected by the archives of the University of L'Aquila. Only 137 out of 640 children were recruited in order to participate to this study. 65 of them were females and 72 males. Each patient underwent a complete and accurate intraoral and dental examination. Study has been approved 17/Jan/2014 and registered by University of L'Aquila (Italy). We found high incidence of gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) related to two different and independent factors: the preterm birth and the breastfeeding. Moreover, patients suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux appeared to be more exposed to the onset of teeth discoloration and showed an improved susceptibility to the amelogenesis imperfecta. This clinical picture can be easily explained due to the acid environment created by gastric reflux. In the light of our findings, it is clear how the close cooperation between pediatricians and dentists plays a key-role for the prevention and the early treatment of the oral and gastric diseases. A clear and well-known workflow should be followed by all the physicians when they treat a preterm child so to involve a multidisciplinary team to obtain a complete clinical picture.
Keywords: dental prevention, dental education, preterm children, gastroesophageal reflux, breastfeeding.