Oral rehydration therapy - A dental perspective

Ogunbodede, E, Sheiham A.  1997.  Oral rehydration therapy - A dental perspective, 1997/01/01. International dental journal. 46:565-71.


Sugar-based Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) is still the conventional treatment for diarrhoeal diseases. The WHO/UNICEF, and other groups endorse and actively promote its use for all cases of diarrhoea. Despite the deleterious effects of sugars promotion on dental health, and the incontrovertible role of sugars as the major factor responsible for the present upsurge in dental caries prevalence in the developing countries, the search for an ideal Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) has so far completely ignored any dental considerations. Of the presently available rehydration solutions, the cereal or food-based solutions offer greater advantages over the sugar based solutions. Further research efforts must be directed at non-sugar based ORT, and funding organisations should give support to researchers and research institutions working to replace sugars with cereal flours, improve food-based ORS, or develop novel approaches to ORT that are based on non-cariogenic ingredients. Policy makers, researchers and health care workers generally must always consider, in addition to other factors, the dental implications of their recommendations on ORT.