Contaminated Water Causes Tooth Decay in Children

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Tooth decay means the destruction of tooth enamel which typically leads to dental caries. This damaged enamel allows bacteria to invade the tooth and cause painful infections and in extreme cases, a tooth loss too. A new study by the researchers of WVU School of Dentistry, Christopher and R. Constance Wiener finds that the presence of PFAS in water is linked to the higher rates of tooth decay in children.

It is also noted that it is more likely to get cavities in children when higher concentrations of PFAS are present in the blood. Also due to the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) many heart diseases, cancer, thyroid dysfunction, and some other conditions are happening at higher rates.

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Polyfluoroalkyl substances are manufactured chemicals. Although today manufacturers do not use these chemical groups to make different products like carpet, cookware, and carbode. But still, these chemical groups persist in the environment and causing many health problems. It is observed that one of the chemical perfluorodecanoic acids causes dental cavities.

The researchers, Christopher and R. Constance Wiener have studied the effects of these chemical groups on dental health. And the more findings related to this study can be studied in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry in detail.

Due to the presence of strong forces of attraction in PFAS, it is not easy to break the chemical bonds formed in them. That’s why many diseases are happening. Even many people are unaware of the presence of PFAS in drinking water and many other products.

In this research, more than six hundred children of 3 to 11 years have participated. These children were also a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The blood samples of children were taken and many factors like their BMI, their race, and the way of their teeth brushing were assessed.

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The research lab director, Waters and assistant professor, Wiener analyzed that the only reason for tooth decay is perfluorodecanoic acid.

In perfluorodecanoic acid stronger chemical bonds are present due to its long molecular structure that’s why it remains in the environment for a longer period. And causes negative effects on health like dental caries. Perfluorodecanoic acid can disrupt the development of enamel which makes the teeth hard.

The vice dean for administration and research, Fotinos Panagakos considers the findings of this study important because these findings will help researchers to understand more about the impact of this molecule on the normal teeth formation.

Wiener tells some good news that fifty percent of children haven’t any measurable amount of PFAS. And the higher rate of tooth decay is found in those children who brush their teeth once a day than those who brush their teeth twice a day. And the children who hadn’t visited the dentist in the previous years have higher rates of tooth decay than those who had visited the dentist.

The present study helps parents to prevent their children from tooth decay. If parents are unaware of the presence of PFAS in their children’s drinking water or can’t control it then still the children can be prevented by fostering through scheduling the dental exams and regular brushing.

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