A recent study involving the examination of 157 children between the ages of 2 to 17 in an urban homeless shelter found that as body mass index (BMI) increased with age, so does the incidence of dental caries.
One researcher commented that tooth decay and obesity were more prevalent than asthma among the children studied.
Contributing factors cited include lack of insurance and limited access to dental care, nutritious food, refrigeration and running water. The study’s authors also point to the relatively unknown infectious quality of dental caries, which are passed to children from caregivers and siblings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obesity and poor oral health have doubled since 1980.
The study was conducted by nurse researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron and was published in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.