Dental issues during the childhood years can be troublesome, but because children have not had their adult teeth come in, their issues are sometimes overlooked. However, the results of recent studies are likely to have people doing a double take when it comes to their child’s baby teeth. This is because researchers have officially made the connection between childhood dental issues and the risk of heart disease as an adult.
Childhood Dental Issues are More Common Than You Might Think
In one study, 68% of all children exhibited signs of poor oral health. It was shown that only 5% of all the children had a dental checkup that was indicative of good oral health and hygiene. The symptoms that children presented with during their dental checkups at the beginning of the study ranged from cavities to bleeding of the gums and minor periodontal pocketing.
The symptoms that present in children are typically not as severe as what dentist observe in adults that have full-blown periodontal disease, but the health risks are just as substantial. Even worse, we now know these risks can be long-lasting. It was found that children who had shown as little as one of the four symptoms of oral infection were far more likely than their peers to develop a thickened wall in the coronary artery. Thickening of this nature has been directly correlated with a higher risk of the development of cardiovascular disease.
It is well known by American dental clinics that gum disease can progress into complications such as tooth loss later in life. However, these recent findings give us even more of a reason to work towards reducing the rate of oral infections in children. In doing so, we are likely to find a smaller percentage of adults suffering from cardiovascular health problems as they age.
Better Oral Health As a Child Means Better Overall Systemic Health as an Adult
Over the course of 27 years, researchers found that the children who had good dental health habits were much healthier overall than their peers with poor oral health. This trend followed the participants throughout life, and when examined at the end of the study, it was shown that they had lower-cholesterol, healthier body weight, and less of a risk for developing type 2 diabetes than those who showed poor oral health in childhood. There’s much more here than simply lowering the risk of heart disease.
It is clear to see how placing emphasis on good dental health during the early childhood years can have a lasting impact long into adult life. Teaching children about how important it is to maintain good oral hygiene may prove to be the best preventive health measure that we can give them when it comes to their general health in the future.
Good Oral Health Equates to General Wellbeing
Dental health coverage is lacking in this country, and it may be tempting to put dental health on the back burner. We know it can be costly when you are paying out of pocket, but is putting your child at risk of heart disease worth it? This study gives us reason to believe that proper dental care throughout life may save serious money in the long run when it comes to medical bills.