An Association Found Between Childhood Obesity and Tooth Eruption PDF Print Email
Monday, 09 April 2012 09:38

Oral medicine news In a study published in Obesity, 03/09/2012 the authors investigate the possible association between childhood obesity and tooth eruption. As they note “obesity is a growth-promoting process as evidenced by its effect on the timing of puberty. Although studies are limited, obesity has been shown to affect the timing of tooth eruption. Both the timing and sequence of tooth eruption are important to overall oral health”.

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between obesity and tooth eruption. Data were combined from three consecutive cycles (2001–2006) of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and analyzed to examine associations between the number of teeth erupted (NET) and obesity status (BMI z-score >95th percentile BMI relative to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth reference) among children 5 up to 14 years of age, controlling for potential confounding by age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status (SES).

What was found was that obesity is significantly associated with having a higher average number of erupted teeth during the mixed dentition period. On average, teeth of obese children erupted earlier than nonobese children with obese children having on average 1.44 more teeth erupted than nonobese children, after adjusting for age, gender, and race/ethnicity (P < 0.0001). Socioeconomic status was not a confounder of the observed associations.

The authors conclude that obese children, on average, have significantly more teeth erupted than non-obese children after adjusting for gender, age, and race. They note that “these findings may have clinical importance in the area of dental and orthodontic medicine both in terms of risk for dental caries due to extended length of time exposed in the oral cavity and sequencing which may increase the likelihood of malocclusions”.

Taken from a review published by Cristina de Perez Verdia in LinkedIn.


Must A, Phillips SM, Tybor DJ, Lividini K, Hayes CThe Association Between Childhood Obesity and Tooth Eruption. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Feb 7. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.23. [Epub ahead of print]