Breaking News
February 24, 2018 - Will Device Meetings in Europe Suffer Under New Ethics Rule?
February 24, 2018 - Nonstatin drug use increases by 124% in U.S., related expenditures triple
February 24, 2018 - Annual foot screening could help spot heart irregularities in people with diabetes
February 24, 2018 - Researchers developing rapid saliva test to detect Zika virus
February 24, 2018 - For Older Men, Even Light Exercise Helps
February 24, 2018 - Healthy Strategies to Beat Stress
February 24, 2018 - Cancer killing clue could lead to safer and more powerful immunotherapies
February 24, 2018 - Repeated sick days do not affect children’s learning ability, study shows
February 24, 2018 - New two-child policy in China could negatively affect women’s status and gender equality
February 24, 2018 - New research project to determine why mine dust-related lung diseases are on the rise
February 24, 2018 - A Tribute to Dr. Ray Lipicky: The Man Who Transformed Cardiology
February 24, 2018 - ClinicalTrials.gov: Child, Foster
February 24, 2018 - Study shows age doesn’t affect survival in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after HCT
February 24, 2018 - Researchers explore how evolutionary processes guide pathways of cells
February 24, 2018 - Discovery may result in new medication to build stronger muscles in old age
February 24, 2018 - New study identifies possible target for treatment of dangerous allergic reactions
February 24, 2018 - Targeted vaccination can be successful in containing epidemic outbreaks
February 24, 2018 - Loxo Oncology Announces Publication of Larotrectinib Clinical Data in The New England Journal of Medicine
February 24, 2018 - ‘The Best Deals of Any Payer’: What We Heard This Week
February 24, 2018 - Blood and urine tests developed to indicate autism in children
February 24, 2018 - New low-cost microfluidic device brings single-cell technology to bedside
February 24, 2018 - Covestro and Pittsburgh Penguins announce multi-year unique partnership
February 24, 2018 - Some genes can drive both metastasis and initial stages of tumor growth
February 24, 2018 - Visaris Americas announces installation of fully robotic Vision C digital X-ray suite at OGHS
February 24, 2018 - New discovery could accelerate clinical translation of stem cell-based therapies
February 24, 2018 - Respiratory disease patients with arthritis struggle to use complex inhalers
February 24, 2018 - FDA Alert: Labetalol Hydrochloride Injection by Hospira: Recall
February 24, 2018 - Flu, Tdap Vax Safe for Babies 6 Months Later
February 24, 2018 - Adults with autism show a diminished brain response to hearing their own name
February 24, 2018 - Study provides insight into neurobiology of dying
February 24, 2018 - Study finds tobacco smoke exposure among most adolescents in economically disadvantaged population
February 24, 2018 - U.S. clinical sites evaluating antibody-based therapies to prevent two common bacterial infections
February 24, 2018 - UCLA researchers use fluorescent colored proteins to trace origin of heart cells
February 24, 2018 - UC Riverside researchers discover way to halt cancer metastasis
February 24, 2018 - Home Routines Can Boost a Child’s Readiness for School
February 24, 2018 - FDA Investigating Misuse, Abuse of Gabapentinoids
February 24, 2018 - Scientists find key proteins control risk of osteoarthritis during aging
February 24, 2018 - Izon announce the launch of the qEV2 and qEV10 Exosome Isolation columns
February 24, 2018 - New CSIRO technology can create clean drinking water
February 24, 2018 - Treating sleep-disordered breathing may improve prognosis of heart failure patients
February 24, 2018 - More boys begin school a year late than girls, study finds
February 24, 2018 - Early life exposure to green space could have beneficial effects on cognitive function
February 24, 2018 - Joint Surgery: Aspirin Equals NOAC for Post-Acute VTE Prevention
February 23, 2018 - Scientists identify new marker of arthritis in mice
February 23, 2018 - Beetroot juice supplements may benefit patients with heart failure
February 23, 2018 - New study identifies novel molecular biomarkers of preeclampsia
February 23, 2018 - Researchers discover new link between gut bacteria and obesity
February 23, 2018 - Aimmune Therapeutics’ Pivotal Phase 3 PALISADE Trial of AR101 Meets Primary Endpoint in Patients With Peanut Allergy
February 23, 2018 - Improving Glaucoma Care: Ophthalmology Times
February 23, 2018 - Preventing dementia: The promising, the disappointing and the inconclusive
February 23, 2018 - Duke researchers show how to retrain immune system of peanut-allergy mice
February 23, 2018 - Older males could live longer with light intensity exercise, study suggests
February 23, 2018 - C-sections and gut bacteria linked to childhood obesity risk
February 23, 2018 - Asthmatics have lower degree of DNA methylation in certain immune cells
February 23, 2018 - Uniforms coated with copper nanoparticles could reduce spread of hospital infections
February 23, 2018 - What Not to Do If You Have Asthma and Want to Get Pregnant
February 23, 2018 - Deep brain stimulation may be promising Alzheimer’s treatment
February 23, 2018 - AMSBIO offers new PARPtrap Assay Kit
February 23, 2018 - New study identifies mechanisms to lengthen egg viability in worms
February 23, 2018 - Interventions to improve self-concept could be critical in treating mental health patients
February 23, 2018 - Few minutes of physical activity may lower risk of death in older men, research suggests
February 23, 2018 - Modifications in HIV test enable rapid detection of Zika virus, study states
February 23, 2018 - Could Hackers Target Heart Devices?
February 23, 2018 - Kids’ Mental Health Status Not a Factor in Gun Storage
February 23, 2018 - Revellers ready for festival drug checks, study finds
February 23, 2018 - Stanford researchers explore how enzyme changes and becomes antibiotic-resistant
February 23, 2018 - Scientists decode molecular structure of healthy huntingtin protein
February 23, 2018 - Efficacy of cancer immunotherapy increased by deactivating tumor defence mechanism
February 23, 2018 - Epigenetic changes due to normal aging process linked to cancer risk
February 23, 2018 - Evaluations of Medicaid experiments by states, CMS are weak, GAO says
February 23, 2018 - Biomarkers ID’d for Anesthesia-Related Neural Damage
February 23, 2018 - Study reveals how kidney disease happens
February 23, 2018 - Iron deficiency early in life can have long-lasting consequences for the brain
February 23, 2018 - High protein diet reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease, research finds
February 23, 2018 - Research extends powerful capabilities of MRI to nanometer scale
February 23, 2018 - Scientists show that cutting-edge technique can efficiently sort nano-sized particles
February 23, 2018 - Dornier’s new laser innovation delivers confidence to glide through deflected scopes
February 23, 2018 - Neurocrine Biosciences Will File New Drug Application for Opicapone for Parkinson’s Disease Based on Existing Pivotal Clinical Trial Data
February 23, 2018 - Bariatric Surgery Enabled Stopping Diabetes Meds
February 23, 2018 - C-sections and gut bacteria increase risk of childhood obesity
Blood lead levels lower, but tooth decay higher in children who do not drink tap water

Blood lead levels lower, but tooth decay higher in children who do not drink tap water

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
water
Credit: George Hodan/public domain

American children and adolescents who do not drink tap water, which is typically fluoridated, are much more likely to have tooth decay, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. However, the study confirms that those who drink tap water are more likely to have elevated levels of lead in their blood.

Public awareness of the hazards of lead-contaminated water has increased since 2014, when concerns were raised after the drinking water source for Flint, Michigan was changed to the untreated Flint River. A federal state of emergency was declared and Flint residents were instructed to use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Even before the Flint water crisis, there was public mistrust of tap water safety. But avoiding fluoridated tap water raises another public health concern; children are denied its protection from tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adding fluoride to the water supply has dramatically reduced the prevalence of tooth decay over the past 70 years. However, tooth decay remains widespread. In 2011-2012, it affected the primary teeth of 23% of U.S. preschoolers.

Anne E. Sanders, PhD, and Gary D. Slade, BDSc, PhD, of the Department of Dental Ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, analyzed a nationally representative sample of nearly 16,000 children and adolescents aged two to 19 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2014. More than 12,000 records included data on blood lead level and about 5,600 had dental caries examination data. NHANES is the U.S. benchmark for national surveillance of blood lead levels and is the sole national source of dental examination data.

Following an in-home interview, participants visited a mobile examination center where they donated a blood sample, completed a dietary interview, and received a dental examination. About 15% of the children stated that they did not drink tap water. An elevated blood lead level was defined as having at least three micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. Tooth decay was defined as the presence of one of more tooth surfaces affected by dental caries as determined by dental examiners using a standardized protocol.

According to the results of this study, children and adolescents who did not drink tap water were more likely than tap water drinkers to have tooth decay, but were less likely to have elevated blood lead levels. Those who drank tap water had significantly higher prevalence of elevated blood lead levels than children who did not drink tap water. Overall, nearly 3% of children and adolescents had elevated blood lead levels and 49.8% had tooth decay. Among American children and adolescents, one in five living below the federal poverty level, one in four African Americans, and one in three Mexican Americans do not drink tap water, vastly exceeding the one in twelve non-Hispanic white children who do not.

“Elevated blood lead levels affect only a small minority of children, but the health consequences are profound and permanent,” explained Sanders. “On the other hand, tooth decay affects one in every two children, and its consequences, such as toothache, are immediate and costly to treat.”

The statistical analysis took into account other factors that could account for the relationship between non-consumption of tap water and blood lead levels and tooth decay. A limitation of the study was that the fluoridation status of participants’ tap water was unknown, so the observation that drinking tap water protects against tooth decay may be an underestimate of fluoride’s protective effect.

“Our study draws attention to a critical trade-off for parents: children who drink tap water are more likely to have elevated blood lead levels, yet children who avoid tap water are more likely to have tooth decay,” commented Slade. “Community water fluoridation benefits all people, irrespective of their income or ability to obtain routine dental care. Yet we jeopardize this public good when people have any reason to believe their drinking water is unsafe.”


Explore further:
Social deprivation sits at the heart of children’s oral decay

More information:
“Blood Lead Levels and Dental Caries in U.S. Children Who Do Not Drink Tap Water,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.09.004

Journal reference:
American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Provided by:
Elsevier

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles