Malin Stensson´s main area of research is in oral health in children and adolescents. Primarly, she focuses on three questions:
How is the oral health in children and adolescents affected by asthma disease?
Can "good bacteria" (probiotics) affect childrens oral health and prevent dental caries?
How do we identify cariesrisk individuals?
Oral health in children and adolescents with asthma
Malin Stenssons studies are based on clinical examinations of children, adolescents and young adults, with and without asthma, in the age groups 3,6,12-16 and 18-24 years. The results show that individuals with asthma have more dental caries and gingival inflammation than individuals without asthma.
The largest difference in oral health was found in the age group 12-16, in which only 1 of 20 adolescents in the asthmagroup was cariesfree, compared to 13 of 20 in the control group. The higher caries prevalence in children and adolescents with asthmatics due to more frequent mouthbreathing and mount dryness, which may contribute that asthmatics consume sugary drinks more frequently than healthy individuals. Another contributing factor that may affect the development of caries in individuals with asthma is impaired salivary secretion. There are also several other factors that could possibly have an effect on asthmatics oral health, which need to be investigated. One such factor is the effect of medication on saliva. In order to examine this effect more, a new study has been initiaded in cooperation with the peadiatric clinic at Ryhov County Hospital in Jönköping. The new study examine saliva characteristics and salivary secration in children with asthma between the ages of 5 and 10, before and during regular treatment of asthma medication. The findings of the study will be related to asthmaseverity, dental caries and health-related quality of life. In conclusion, Malin Stenssons studies on asthma and oral health emphasise the importance of early detection and cooperation between healthcare and dental care providers.
An important research area is riskassessment as early as possible to prevent oral diseases such as caries. The aim for the project is to identify biomarkers in saliva The research group is international and includes researchers from Valencia, Spain, Malmö University, Linköping University and Region Jönköping and Kronoberg.
Another research area Malin Stensson works with is the use of image support to promote communication between healthcare professionals and children in healthcare. The aim of the project is to study the impact of pictorial support on the involvement of children and healthcare professionals, as well as the children's understanding and fear of radrigraphic examination.