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Tooth Decay is More Common in Kids Exposed to Trauma and Dysfunction

A young girl sitting on a set of stairs with her head down

According to a new study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, kids exposed to dysfunction are more likely to experience tooth decay and other dental diseases. Also, kids who experience more than four dysfunctional childhood events before 18 years of age were much less likely to visit a dentist for preventative care regularly.

Dysfunctional or Traumatic Events

The kids involved in the study mentioned above were between the ages of 6 and 17 years old. Adverse childhood experiences, oral health histories, and sociodemographic information were all a part of the study.

The following is a list of adverse and dysfunctional childhood events:

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

About 88% of the children in the study had had a preventative care exam within the last 12 months. Still, those children who experienced four or more dysfunctional childhood events were much less likely to have had a dental checkup for preventative care than those who did not. Around 27% of children with four or more traumas suffered from extensive tooth decay and dental cavities.

Parents, caregivers, pediatricians, and dentists need to look for dental disease or other oral health problems in at-risk children.

If your child is at risk for dental disease or it's time to schedule a preventative appointment for a dental cleaning and a checkup, please contact Little Rockies Pediatric Dentistry here in Parker, Colorado.  

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