Monday, April 06, 2009

Parental Stress May Lead to Tooth Decay in Children

So says a paper presented by researchers from Ohio State University: "Parental Stress as a Co-morbidity of Early Childhood Caries", by A. Burns et al., of the Ohio State University, Columbus, presented during the 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research.

The team also looked at the parents' education levels and income, and noted if they were single parents. Finally, they measured the parents' stress levels again after the children had received dental treatment.

As they expected, they found that low income, having little education, and being a single parent led to increases in parental stress. They also discovered that the more stressed parents are, the more likely their children were to have decay. Last, they found that apparently having one's child's dental decay treated actually could decrease the stress of being a parent.

It now appears that dental professionals need to be ready not only to repair childhood decay, but also to assist families in finding the help they need to decrease the stress of life.
Flap is not buying into these conclusions. There are too many factors relating to "STRESS" which can be skewed and/or manipulated.

Income level, and dental IQ level are definite factors for accessing dentistry for children, but the rest?

On the other hand, having a crying child with a toothache definitley will ratchet up the stress in any parent.

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