18 Early childhood caries


Early Childhood Caries

Early Childhood Caries (ECC)

The decline in caries is bimodal and for young children 75–80% of dental caries occurs in as little as 20–25% of the population. Allowing young children to sleep with a bottle is one of the main causes of ECC or rampant caries. ECC (Fig. 18.1) occurs worldwide with reported prevalence values ranging from 5% (USA) to 55% (South Korea).

Figure 18.1 Early childhood caries (ECC) of maxillary primary incisors and molars.



  • Rampant caries.
  • Nursing caries syndrome.
  • Nursing bottle caries.
  • Bottle mouth caries.
  • Early childhood caries.
  • Severe ECC (S-ECC).


ECC: occurrence of any sign of dental caries on any tooth surface during the first 3 years of life.

S-ECC: children with atypical, progressive or rampant patterns of dental caries (described separately for each age group):

  • <3 years: any sign of dental caries in smooth surfaces;
  • 3–5 years: one or more cavitated, missing (due to caries) or filled smooth surfaces in maxillary teeth or a dmfs score of 4, 5 or 6 surfaces for ages 3, 4 and 5 years respectively.


  • Exposure for long periods of time to cariogenic substrates (usually sugary drinks) in nursing bottles and/or feeder cups given as pacifiers.
  • Nursing bottle given at bedtime.
  • Low salivary rates at night.
  • Reduced buffering capacity.
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Jan 17, 2015 | Posted by in Pedodontics | Comments Off on 18 Early childhood caries
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