Link Exists Between Obesity and Poor Dental Health for Homeless Children

Obesity and dental cavities become worse as impoverished children grow older, according to a new study.

The researchers determined that as body mass index went up as children got older, the numbers of cavities increased as well. Groups at the Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron conducted the research. The information appeared in the Journal of Pediatric Health.

The research was compiled after analyzing data from 157 children, aged 2 to 17, at an urban homeless shelter. Most of the fathers were not in the picture.

BMI was used as the determining factor for obesity. The cavity total was determined based on missing, filled or injured teeth. Few previous studies in the United States have pinpointed this correlation between obesity, poverty and dental health.

The information from this study indicated that number of obese people and poor oral health cases have just about doubled since 1980, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The problems for impoverished people when it comes to dental health are plentiful. The lack of access to healthy food, the inability to refrigerate food and the lack of running water in some instances are some of the issues. There is also the possibility of spreading gum disease and other oral diseases by sharing spoons, baby bottles, toothbrushes, etc.

Those problems don’t even include the inability to receive dental treatment. And even if the possibility for dental treatment exists, transportation to get to the appointment may not be available.

There is no fast or easy solution to ending these problems.

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