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13 January 2015

Linking Tooth Decay & Stunted Growth

One of the worst things that can happen to a child if they neglect to brush their teeth is tooth decay. Whilst it is an unfavourable oral state, not many people – including parents – take it seriously. Recently, researchers found some extra motivation for children to start flossing more often.

Studying Teeth and Growth

A new study suggests that there is a link between tooth decay and stunted growth in children. The researchers conducted the study at the University College London in cooperation with the King Fahad Armed Forced Hospital in Saudi Arabia.

The study sprang from the need to form a more conclusive result, considering that earlier studies could not produce definite evidence on way or another. To obtain the data they need, the researchers looked at the dental records of children with ages between six and eight. Each subject was graded on their oral health on a scale that determines the state of decaying, missing, and filled teeth, also known as the DMFT index.

The DMFT index is a well-established key measure in dental epidemiology, which has been in use for well over seventy years. The index can grade a subject anywhere from zero to twenty-eight or thirty-two, depending on the researchers if they decide to include the third molars in the score. As the study graded very young children, only the twenty-eight system was necessary.

The Link Exists

After analysing the data collected from all the subjects carefully and comparing the results, they found reason to believe that a link between growth and tooth decay exists, specifically their height and weight. Children with severe tooth decay had a bigger chance becoming underweight or shorter than their peers.

The findings stood even after including external factors such as demographics, and social values in the study. The study requires more research by independent entities to confirm the findings; based on the present results, it is fair to note that tooth decay affects the growth and nutrition of children.

Fortunately, the road to a healthy and tooth decay free future is within reach. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. In case of dental emergencies, our team may provide the help you need. Our emergency dentist is available for clients living in Manchester, Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme.

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