Aims: This systematic review aimed to compare the gingival status of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) to those without CP. Materials and methods: Nine databases were searched up to May 2020 for observational studies that evaluated the periodontal status of patients with and without CP. Risk of bias between studies was assessed using Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal tools. Random effects meta-analysis was performed. Results: The search provided 425 results, from which only five met the eligibility criteria and were ultimately included in the qualitative assessment of the review. All studies presented low risk of bias. The total number of patients in case / control groups was 454/532. The standardized mean difference of the gingival index between cases and controls was 0.42 (95% CI = 0.21- 0.64; p < 0.001), whereas for the plaque index, it was 0.66 (95% CI = 0.49-0.84; p < 0.001), indicating worse periodontal status for individuals with CP. In general, heterogeneity was low (I2 <25.0%). Conclusion: Children and adolescents with CP are more likely to have bacterial plaque accumulation, gingival inflammation, and gingival hyperplasia compared to individuals without CP.
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