Tooth Decay is More Prevalent in Children Exposed to Trauma or Dysfunction
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Tooth Decay is More Prevalent in Children Exposed to Trauma or Dysfunction

Child looking longingly out a windowAccording to a study in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, kids who grow up in dysfunctional households are more likely to experience dental cavities, tooth decay, and other dental diseases. Additionally, children who experience more than 4 traumatic or dysfunctional childhood events before the age of 18 were much less likely to be visiting a dentist for preventative care.

Traumatic or Dysfunctional Events

The children involved in the study were between the ages of 6 and 17 years old. Sociodemographic information, adverse childhood experiences and oral health histories, and adverse childhood experiences were all a part of the study.

Adverse and dysfunctional childhood events are listed as the following:

  • Parental death
  • Parental divorce or separation
  • Economic hardship
  • Witnessing household violence
  • Ethnic or racial mistreatment
  • Living with a parent or caregiver with mental illness
  • Living with a parent or caregiver who has a substance abuse problem

About 88% of children have had a preventative care dental visit within the last 12 months, but those who experienced 4 or more of the above childhood events were less likely to have had preventative care visits than those who did not. In fact, 27% of children with 4 or more traumas suffered from extensive tooth decay and dental cavities.

If your child is at risk for dental disease or if it’s time to schedule a preventative appointment for a dental cleaning and a checkup, please contact Little Smiles of Delaware here in Delaware, Ohio.  

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