Contact person:
Susanne Brogårdh-Roth
  • Malmö universitet
  • Patentmedelsfonden
Responsible at Malmö University:
Susanne Brogårdh-Roth
Project members:
  • Johanna Månsson - Lunds universitet
  • Ing-Marie Nilsson - Centrum for Oral Rehabilitering - Folktandvården Norrköping
Time frame:
01 August 2018 - 30 August 2020

About the project

Children born 3 to 4 months prematurely constitute a new group of patients for the dental team. From birth through adolescence complications related to premature birth could be found considering medical, cognitive and motor functional. The knowledge of medical and odontological consequences of preterm birth in adulthood is less understood.

To date studies have shown that prematurely born children do well on a whole, but some of them may need extra attendance. The problems could be behaviour difficulties but also disturbances in tooth development as smaller teeth, delay in tooth maturation and more enamel defects, especially the very and extremely preterm born. They could also have more malocclusions and greater need for orthodontic treatment.

Concerns of the long-term wellbeing of the preterm child and family have been expressed since this group of children has compromised health status with lifelong consequences for health, growth and development. Today, several studies have examined health-related quality of life to evaluate long-term physical, emotional and social functioning after preterm birth, however, with contradictory results.

Regarding oral health-related quality of life there are no studies available in preterm born individuals. There is also limited knowledge concerning aspects expressed as problems with eating due to pain from teeth or tempomandibular disorders (TMD) and malocclusions and orthodontic treatment need in adolescents born preterm.

For the dental profession and dental health planners, information about the preterm child and adolescent in dentistry is most important to ensure this group of patients a good oral health also in adulthood, including oral health related quality of life.