On Friday July 9th, at the 68th annual congress of European Organization for Caries Research (ORCA) in Zagreb, Croatia, Dr. Jekaterina Gudkina (Assistant Professor, Conservative Dentistry and Oral Health Department, Faculty of Dentistry, Riga Stradinš University) presented the result of a 3-year study on reducing the incidence of tooth decay in 6-year and 12-year-old children conducted in Riga Latvia. This study was led by Dr. Gudkina and her colleagues, Dr. Stephen Abrams, Dr. Bennett Amaechi, Dr. Anda Brinkmane, Dr. Ieva Jelisejeva and Dr. Eva Petrosina. Tooth decay or dental caries is a very common disease, and some studies show that it affects over 40% of the primary or baby teeth.
In a previous study, Dr. Gudkina and colleagues found that the decay rates in 6 and 12 year old children in Riga, Latvia was very high. Two of the major drivers for that tooth decay were diets high in sugar and lack of fluoride in the water system. The children had at least 3–4 cups of tea per day with two teaspoons of sugar per cup. (Gudkina J, Brinkmane A, Abrams SH, Amaechi BT. Factors influencing the caries experience of 6 and 12 year old children in Riga, Latvia. Stomatologija, Baltic Dental and Maxillofacial Journal, 18: 14-20, 2016). Dr. Gudkina, working closely with Dr. Stephen Abrams (Quantum Dental Technologies Toronto Canada) and Dr. Bennett Amaechi (Professor, University of University of Texas Health Sciences at San Antonio, Comprehensive Dentistry) decided to test if GC Corporation’s, MI Varnish (5% sodium fluoride and Casein Phosphopeptide-Amorphous Calcium Phosphate) could decrease the decay rates in these two groups of children over a three-year period. The varnish was applied every three months to a group of 6-year and 12-year old children, and there was a control group that had no varnish applied in each age group. Over the three-year period the use of MI Varnish reduced the decay rate in the 6-year old group by 10.8% which was 6.81% better than the control group. In the 12 year old group the MI Varnish reduced the caries increment by 8.6%. The study concluded that the application of MI Varnish was able to reduce the decay rates in these high risk populations.
Dr. Bennett Amaechi concluded that “There are many tools and approaches to managing tooth decay. Placing restorations only treats the effects of tooth decay. One needs to develop a preventive program for the family that engages the child, changes behaviors and uses products to help prevent new caries and reverse existing tooth decay.” Dr. Stephen Abrams felt that “MI Varnish is one tool that will help to control tooth decay, but one also needs to access regular dental care and use devices that detect, measure, and monitor changes in tooth structure over time. These devices will then help to monitor the success of a preventive program.” The results of this study are in the process of being published.