Does your child have more cavities? The fault may be with the water

Children with higher concentrations of a certain chemical in the blood are more likely to have cavities, according to a new study by researchers at the School of Dentistry at the University of West Virginia (United States).

The perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemical groups they are universal as a result of extensive manufacturing and use. Even if manufacturers no longer use PFAS to make non-stick cookware, rugs, cardboard and other products, persist in the environment. Scientists have linked them to a number of health problems, from heart disease to high cholesterol, but now R. Constance Wiener Y Christopher Waters are investigating how they affect dental health.

They analyzed whether higher concentrations of PFAS are associated with increased dental caries in children and have found that one of these PFAS, the perfluorodecanoic acid, was related to dental caries. Their findings are reported in the scientific journal 'Journal of Public Health Dentistry'. "Due to the strong chemical bonds of PFAS, it is difficult for them to break down, making them more likely to be persistent within the environment, especially in the systems of drinking water"he points out to SciTechDaily Waters, who runs the research labs at the University of West Virginia School of Dentistry." most people are not aware that they are using water and other products that contain PFAS. "

It affects the development of enamel

In a study with 629 children between 3 and 11 years oldchildren's blood samples were analyzed for see the presence of PFAS and their dental caries were evaluated and other factors, such as race, your body mass index, and how often you brushed your teeth. Of the seven PFAS that Wiener and Waters studied, perfluorodecanoic acid was the one that was associated with higher levels of dental caries.

"Most people may not be aware that they are using water and other products that contain PFAS"

"Perfluorodecanoic acid, in particular, has a long molecular structure and strong chemical bonds; therefore, stays in the environment longer. As a result, it is more likely to have negative health consequences, such as dental caries, "says Wiener, an associate professor in the Department of Dental Practice and Rural Health at the American university. But, Why does this happen? Wiener and Waters have a hypothesis. According to other research, perfluorodecanoic acid can disrupt healthy enamel development, which is what makes the teeth harden, which makes the teeth more susceptible to cavities.

The study reaffirmed the importance of dental hygiene and check-ups. Children who brushed once a day or less had more cavities than children who brushed at least twice a day. Similarly, children who had not been to the dentist in the past year were twice as likely to have higher rates of dental caries than children who had visited. So, according to the researchers, even though parents can't control what is in the water their children drink, they can protect their teeth. promoting thorough and regular brushing and scheduling dental exams.