ADHA and one for NBDHE, and has
practiced dental hygiene since 2009.
1. Alswat K, Waleed SM, Moustafa
AW, Ahmed AA. The association
between body mass index and
dental caries: cross-sectional study.
J Clin Med Res Journal of Clinical
Medicine Research 8. 2 (2016):
2. Costacurta ML, DiRenzo L, Sicuro
L. Dental caries and childhood
obesity: analysis of food intakes,
lifestyles. European Journal of
Paediatric Dentistry (2014): n. pag.
3. Yang RJ, Sheu JJ, Chen HS, Lin
KC, Huang HL. Morbidity at elementary school entry differs by sex
and level of residence urbanization:
a comparative cross-sectional
study. BMC Public Health 7. 1
(2007): 358. Web.
4. Marshall TA, Eichenberger-Gilmore
JM, Broffitt BA, Warren JJ, Levy
SM. Dental caries and childhood
obesity: roles of diet and socioeconomic status. Community Dentistry
and Oral Epidemiology 35. 6 (2007):
5. Oral Health in America: A Report
of the Surgeon General (Executive
Summary). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr.
6. Werner S, Phillips C. Association
between childhood obesity and
dental caries. Pediatric Dentistry
34. 1 (2012): 23-27. Web.
was used as a control variable in
models developed to predict caries risk.
4 Studies show that topical
fluoride can also aid in caries reduction and remineralization of
enamel. It is recommended that
fluoride varnish be applied at least
every six months to be effective in
The research I found was able
to present evidence that in some
aspects there is a direct correlation between obesity and childhood dental caries; however, I feel
more research needs to be conducted on this topic. Both childhood obesity and caries risk have
many factors as separate entities.
Combining the two makes it much
more complex. Different aspects
of this topic need to be evaluated
in depth to give more concrete,
valid, well-rounded research results with an adequate sized study
Katie Melko, RDH, MSDH, is a
public health hygienist at
Community Health Center Inc. She
graduated from Fones School of
Dental Hygiene at the University of
Bridgeport in 2016 with an MSDH.
She sits on three workgroups, two for
dren to brush after lunch.
Bio Med Central reported that
99.8% of the children in their study
had a dental problem, whether it
was dental caries, calculus, gingivitis, or periodontal disease, with
untreated dental caries being the
most common. Also, boys had
100% dental issues and females
had slightly less. There was no
reason or evidence as to why this
was the case. The study showed
that the parents’ lack of education
was a major issue. Many parents
believe that because children’s
teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth, they don’t need to take
caries seriously, even though dental services for their children are
covered by insurance.
Early caries detection and non-invasive interventions are important for caries prevention according to the Journal of the American
Dental Association (JADA). Not all
lesions progress to cavitation, but
how do we determine which white
spot lesions will progress?
Some research included ques-
tionnaires to gain information on
fluoride intake from water, dietary
fluoride supplements, and fluoride
dentifrices. The fluoride intake
dental caries? When looking at
the research regarding the correla-
tion between childhood dental
caries and childhood obesity, mul-
tiple variables and factors come
into play—different indexes used
to collect data, surveys, the reli-
ability of data, sample size, and
time constraints to name a few.
While fluoridated water has
helped ease dental caries in children, it can’t stop the disease. Early
childhood caries is five times more
prevalent than asthma, yet there
is a lack of advocacy surrounding
6 More than 50% of children ages five to nine have at least
one cavity or filling, and that increases to 78% among 17-year-
6 More than 51 million school
hours are lost due to dental-relat-ed illnesses.
According to the European
Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
(EJPD), dental hygiene plays a
significant role in reducing caries.
Children may not brush and floss
twice a day. They may have irreg-
ular home hygiene and often eat
after brushing. One study looked
at schools that were taking pre-
ventive steps by providing tooth-
brushes and toothpaste for chil-
healthy and getting enough nutrients and vita-
mins to keep their tissue health to a maximum.
Calcium and phosphorus products for alveolar
bone health should be included in their daily
diets along with enough folate for strong spinal
health in the infant.
We can educate our pregnant patients about
many things when it comes to their new babies
and how to care for their mouths once they are
born. But we need to take the time to educate
them while they are pregnant about their own
mouths, as ell as how important their periodontal
health can be for the health of their unborn child.
If we can treat them while it is still pregnancy-as-
sociated gingivitis, studies have shown that it can
help prevent them from having a low-birth-weight
baby (Lopez). We need to focus our pregnant
patients to taking excellent care of their tissues
in their mouth to increase their chances of car-
rying theirbabytofull term. Happy Scaling! RDH
1. Offenbacher S, Katz V, Fertik G, Collins J, et al.
Periodontal Infection as a possible risk factor for
preterm birth low birth weight. J Periodontol. 1996; 67
( 10 Suppl):1103-1113.
2. Lopez NJ, Da Silva I, Ipinza J, Guutierrez J. Periodontal Therapy reduces the rate of preterm low birth
weight in women with pregnancy-associated gingivitis.
J PEriodontol. 2005; 76 ( 11 Supp): 2144-2153.
3. Neild-Gehrig JS, Willmann DE. Foundations of
Periodontics for the Dental Hygienist 2nd Ed. Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.
4. Wilkins E. Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist
11th Ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013, Chapter
48- The Pregnant Patient.
the blood sugar can become a problem during
some pregnancies, further complicating gingival
tissue health. Patients with diabetic issues have
a higher risk of periodontal disease, and, on top
of a pregnancy, it can make bad matters even
worse and more difficult to control.
Pre-eclampsia is an issue that some women
get when they are pregnant that causes an abrupt
increase in blood pressure and a large amount
of protein albumin gathers in the urine. It can
cause extensive swelling in the hands and feet
and face of the mother. It usually occurs during
the last trimester of the pregnancy. Many times,
the doctor puts the expectant mother on complete bed rest until the birth.
It is important pregnant women are eating
continued from pg. 35
PREGNANCY AND LOW-BIRTH-WEIGHT BABIES