Aim: To evaluate the periodontal status and orthodontic treatment need of autistic children and compare these findings to nonaffected, same-age individuals. Method: The periodontal status and orthodontic treatment need were evaluated in 32 autistic and 48 nonautistic boys and girls age 8 years to 12 years (mean 9.7 ± 1.2 years and 9.9 ± 1.1 years, respectively). The periodontal status of all subjects was recorded using the Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Need (CPITN) with a slight modification. The orthodontic treatment need was determined using the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI). Chi-square test and odds ratio were used for statistical analysis. Results: No significant sex differences were found in the autistic or nonautistic groups. The autistic children presented with a significantly poorer periodontal status than the nonautistic children (P < .05). No significant differences in terms of the various malocclusion categories were found between both groups (P > .05); however, children with autism showed missing teeth, spacing, diastemas, reverse overjets, open bites, and Class II molar relationship tendencies in a higher percentage than nonautistic individuals. In all, autistic children and nonautistic children frequently needed orthodontic treatment. Conclusion: This study suggests that children with autism require special dental management to improve their oral hygiene as well as their dental esthetics. More care from parents, general dentists, and pedodontists/orthodontists should be provided routinely to autistic children. World J Orthod 2010;11:256–261.
Key words: autism, treatment need, periodontal condition, Dental Aesthetic Index, Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Need