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Long and Short Term Effects of Dental Caries in Children

LONG AND SHORT TERM EFFECTS OF DENTAL CARIES IN CHILDREN 1

Executive Summary

Dental caries is one of the chronic disordersthat affect children in large numbers, in different parts of theworld. The consequences caused by this disease can either be short orlong-term depending on how fast it is treated. The short-term effectsinclude chewing and speech impairments, trouble while sleeping, andirritability due to the pain felt in case the victims indulge instrenuous tasks (Bonecker, Abanto, Tello, &amp Oliveira, 2014).Children, having such problems, often restrain from speaking inpublic since they fear being ridiculed by their peers.

The long-term problems include affecting thegeneral quality of life of the child as the challenge may progress toadulthood. Such a child becomes weak, and he or she is unable toperform most of his or her daily activities in a proper manner.Hence, most of such victims spend most of their time, which wouldotherwise be spent on other constructive areas, on medications.

Tooth decay is a problem affecting most people,but it is most common among the children. The goal of this study wasto find out the current situation of the disorder and the manner ithas influenced people’s oral health as well as their quality oflife.

From the statistics provided, the dental carieswas less prevalent in the children of 8-12 months whereas the impactwas most felt in those who fell between 36 and 60 months (Bonecker etal., 2014). Because of adverse impacts of the infection, the primaryprevention should start during the prenatal stage. Parents shouldavoid the wrong feeding habits and regularly take the children forthe dental examination.

The rate of dental caries occurrence dependedon the age of the victims. As the years increased, the rate of dentalcaries diminished.

The caries lesions adversely affect the healthcondition of the patient children. They lead a miserable life formost of their activities are disrupted. The prevalence was very highin the five-year children who were not treated recording 80%(Bonecker et al., 2014). Parents and children should report anyconditions that they feel are not normal so that early medicationscan be done to prevent the infection from spreading from one tooth tothe other.

The sample, in this study included the childrenwho had at least one of their teeth erupted as a result of variousconditions. The method that was used for selecting the samplepopulation is not however specified, but it was taken in Brazil. Thechildren were assembled in groups of 3, 5 and 12 years (Bonecker etal., 2014).

Though not directly given in the report, thedependent variables are the effects of the disease on the children.The independent ones are the factors that are responsible for thiscondition.

The plan adopted included bothsemi-experimental and experimental activities. This is because apartfrom the field examinations that were carried out, a practicalvalidation was made by visiting different places in the state andstudying the youngsters.

It is not clear who conducted the research, butdifferent materials were used in the course of collecting theevidence. The material used included the survey that was donepreviously by SB Brazil Project and the one by the ProgressiveNational Epidemiology (Bonecker et al., 2014).

The results obtained revealed that the meandmft of the children under the age of five years was 2.43, whichcomprised of 53.4% whereas that of 12 years was 2.07 with 56.5%(Bonecker et al., 2014). The infection reduced consistently in theolder children though slightly in those within the age bracket fiveyears.

Oral health has been considered as a globalpublic health concern affecting everyone on the population. Chou etal., 2013 defines dental caries as an infectious disease thatinvolves breaking down of the tooth enamel. This is a more commondisease in children in the US with the prevalence rate graduallyincreasing among the two to five years old children (Chou et al.,2013). It has been estimated that three-quarters of children withdental caries are yet to receive proper treatments. Dentalresearch attention has widely altered from the cause of the diseasesto how the disease upset general health. According to the statistics,almost 90% of caries is common among children worldwide and goesuntreated. The rate in prevalence caries in children from developedcountries ranges from 1% to 12% while high decays prevalence wasfound in developing countries. Bad oral health and poor dietscontribute to ECC. Streptococcus sobrinus and S. mutans are bacterialmicroorganisms, which produce acid in the mouth that damage teethstructures in the presence of glucose, fructose or sucrose (Çolak etal., 2013). If caries affects the growth of children, then it is adire need to come up with a solution to this menace. As a result,children with dental caries may experience tooth pain, tooth loss,impaired developmental growth, self-esteem issues, poor speech, andreduced weight gain among others.&nbsp Common risk exposures fordental caries among children comprise of excessive intakes of dietarysugar and carbohydrates, lack of proper parental knowledge on oralhealth, inappropriate bottle-feeding, improper brushing of the teeth,limited and access to dental care. Malnourished infants may end updeveloping dental caries more than the nourished children. The effectis because of high-level sugar intake that destroys teeth throughdecay (Sheiham, 2016).

This paper seeks to establish the long and short-term effects ofdental caries in children. The importance ofthe research is to diagnose the possible short-term effects and longterm effects of early childhood caries (ECC) found in youngsters.

Research Questions

While seeking to fulfill the researchobjective, this study will ask the questions:

  1. What are the short-term effects of dental caries in children?

  2. What are the long-term effects of dental caries in children?

Literature Review

Health Effects of Dental Caries in Children

Children with dental caries may experiencetooth pain, tooth loss, impaired developmental growth, self-esteemissues, poor speech, and reduced weight gain among others.&nbspCommon risk exposures for dental caries among children comprise ofexcessive intakes of dietary sugar and carbohydrates, lack of properparental knowledge on oral health, inappropriate bottle feeding,improper brushing of the teeth, limited access to dental care, etc.The primary purpose of the investigation is to analyze how screeningand establishing preventive interventions by caregivers can improveeffects of early childhood dental caries.

Through using a systematic review method thatwas developed by USPSTF, a study was carried out at the PacificNorthwest Evidence-Based Practice Center upon a request by the Agencyfor Healthcare Research and Quality (Chou et al., 2013). It can benoted that the study involved utilizing meta-analysis researchmethods because it incorporated randomized and nonrandomized controltrials, as well as cohort studies. The end results provided that nostudy precisely estimated the impact of the screening by thecaregivers in proven results. One cohort study concluded thatpediatrician examination was linked with tooth sensitivity of 0.80for categorizing children with dental cavities (Chou et al., 2013).Three randomized clinical trials conducted were found to beconsistent with prior studies that showed that the application offluoride is more effective compared to the cases with no fluoridevarnish. Fresh observational studies were also consistent with theprevious studies in that they showed a link between children’sfluoride usage and enamel fluorosis.

Long Term Effects

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbspResearch has shown that there are several consequences of dentaldiseases in the long term. The disease can exacerbate the initialfragile condition when it comes to the prevalence of certain chronicillness at a later age. For instance, they can lead to complicationwhen it comes to transplants of bone marrow and treatment of certainorgans, which can translate to death. They can cause severecomplications as the child grows resulting in diseases such asinfections of the urinary tract, pneumonia, infection of the body ingeneral and fever alongside defective heart valve infection. Theprevalence of untreated dental diseases may affect the general growthof the child. It is due to chronic inflammation that results in anegative impact on the metabolic pathways&nbsp(Hakan Çolak, 2013).Hemoglobin suppression results in anemia at a later stage in the lifeof children. Many children who happen to be under the five years areclassified as individuals with high risk of suffering from toothdecay in the future.

The risk of one losing tooth through theextraction of the tooth is common and an essential treatment forcarriers that have been advanced in stages. The losses of molars atan early stage of life will probably lead to orthodontic problems. Inaddition, some carriers at early stages have often been traced as thelink of late childhood carries. Dental disease and poor oral healthare likely to continue up to the adulthood. The research has shownthat children will be exposed to a high risk of fresh carious lesionsmostly in the subsequent primary teeth besides the permanentdentition that will follow. The dental diseases will affect thegeneral heath of the child, leading to poor physical developmentparticularly on weight and height (Hakan Çolak, 2013). It can alsoaffect the nutrition, speech and life quality of the child. Inconclusion, dental disease at early stages of children life should betreated properly to avoid the aftermath consequences.

Short-Term Effects

A research carried by Colak et al., (2013) ondental caries in children to determine the short-term effects. Themain intention of this research was to diagnose the possibleshort-term effects of ECC found in youngsters. The survey wasconducted in dental clinics and at homes for children aged 2-5 years,which was the inference and data analysis method. The research showsthat the prevalence rate of ECC has declined in the western nations,but teeth decays in infants who have not attended school arediagnosed in all countries in the world. The rate in prevalencecaries in children from developed countries ranges from 1% to 12%while high decays prevalence was found in developing countries. Badoral health and poor diets contribute to ECC (Çolak et al., 2013).

If a child happens to have dental decay, he orshe can be affected both physically and psychologically. The growth,speaking, chewing, socializing and tasting of food in a child isaffected and can lower the self-esteem. Children’s dental cariescan cause pain and restlessness that can lead to chronic,disfigurement and acute infections in kids and have altered sleepingand eating behaviors. A child may get hospitalized and spend highcosts on treatments and in the meantime lose the school daysaffecting his or her learning routine. The rate of growth and weightgain can be reduced due to inadequate food consumption. The ECC canbe prevented by taking balanced diet, reduce consumption of sugaryfood, educating people about oral health among others (Çolak et al.,2013).

Methodology

The sample, in this study included the childrenwho had at least one of their teeth erupted as a result of variousconditions. The method that was used for selecting the samplepopulation is not however specified, but it was taken in Brazil. Thechildren were assembled in groups of 3, 5 and 12 years (Bonecker etal., 2014).

Though not directly given in the report, thedependent variables are the effects of the disease on the children.The independent ones are the factors that are responsible for thiscondition.

The plan adopted included bothsemi-experimental and experimental activities. This is because apartfrom the field examinations that were carried out, a practicalvalidation was made by visiting different places in the state andstudying the youngsters.

It is not clear who conducted the research, butdifferent materials were used in the course of collecting theevidence. The material used included the survey that was donepreviously by SB Brazil Project and the one by the ProgressiveNational Epidemiology (Bonecker et al., 2014).

Results

From the statistics provided, the dental carieswas less prevalent in the children of 8-12 months whereas the impactwas most felt in those who fell between 36 and 60 months (Bonecker etal., 2014). Because of adverse impacts of the infection, the primaryprevention should start during the prenatal stage. Parents shouldavoid the wrong feeding habits and regularly take the children forthe dental examination. The rate of dental caries occurrence dependedon the age of the victims. As the years increased, the rate of dentalcaries diminished. The caries lesions adversely affect the healthcondition of the patient children. They lead a miserable life formost of their activities are disrupted. The prevalence was very highin the five-year children who were not treated recording 80%(Bonecker et al., 2014). Parents and children should report anyconditions that they feel are not normal so that early medicationscan be done to prevent the infection from spreading from one tooth tothe other. The results obtained revealed that the mean dmft of thechildren under the age of five years was 2.43, which comprised of53.4% whereas that of 12 years was 2.07 with 56.5% (Bonecker et al.,2014). The infection reduced consistently in the older childrenthough slightly in those within the age bracket five years.

Findings by a study done by Benzian et al.(2011) regrettably found out that at least 55.7% of those sufferingfrom tooth decay were victims to the above odontogenic infectionsymptoms, hence their plea that the situation should be given priorattention.

In a study to determine the effect of dentalcaries on the frequency of attending school by children, the resultsobtained by Jackson et al. (2011) indicated a strong correlationbetween school absences/performance, dental caries, and dental care(P =0.001). Moreover, Jackson et al. (2011) showed that the childrenwho came from uninsured households reported significant absenteeismdue to dental pains. Specifically, the authors found out that about2120 pupils missed 1049 scheduled learning days due to dental careissues, and that averaged 0.49 days for every child. Moreover, about17.3% (182) of the days missed was due to dental caries. When thesefindings were extrapolated to represent the general population of theNorth Carolina State, Jackson et al. (2011) verified that 3,430,602hours of education are lost as a result of matters relating to dentalcaries, with 717,895curicula hours going to waste as caused by thetooth decay. By considering that school hours usually extend tobeyond 5.6 hours per day, a further extrapolation showed that thestate records 4,000,000 hours lost due to dental infection.

A cross-sectional study of epidemiology wascarried out in primary schools belonging to the government in Chitwandistrict’s Chandibhanjyang Village Development Committee (VDC),Nepal (Shakya, Shrestha, Shrestha, &amp Prasai, 2013). The aim wasto assess the prevalence, oral health knowledge by the use ofdecay-missing- filled teeth (DMFT) over decayed, extracted, andfilled teeth index and how severe the clinical effects of caries thatare untreated (PUFA/pufa) were in children between 6 and 12 years.With permission from the board of institutional review, in thedepartment of research of Institute of Medicine (IOM), oral clinicalassessments were conducted on 361 children inclusive of those between6 and 12 years in grades 3 up to 5 (Shakya et al., 2013). The WorldHealth Organization’s criterion was utilized in the assessment.DMFT/deft and the PUFA/pufa index was employed in the collection ofdata. The data was then tabulated and availed for analysis usingstatistical techniques. The study found that caries in 6-year-oldschool going children was above the Federation of DentistryInternational (FDI) and World Health Organization recommended goalsof below 50% cases it was 52%. Due to poor oral hygiene, 31% of thechildren reported pain of the oral cavity and had decayed enamel.Moreover, the most common effect reported among 12-year-olds was aloss of the teeth with 20% of the cases having already happened. The31% also reported anxiety, inability to eat, read and sleep. Thiscompromised their daily living, and they qualified for teethextraction. The greatest challenge was tooth brushing. Only 24% ofthem brush their teeth two times a day. 30% of the children respondedthat they did not like the color of their teeth and extractionbecause it disfigures their good looks and ability to smile.

A study was done by Mandal (2013) in 50 Statesapart from District of Columbia to examine dental caries and toothloss in school-age children and the therapeutic services offered. Thestudy discovered that there was an increase in the parents/guardians’rates who gave a confirmation report that their children had goodteeth from 67.7% in 2013 to 71.9% in 2011/2012, while children withtherapy visits regarding tooth decay rose from 71.5% in the year 2011to 77.0% in 2013. The study showed that there was an elevation in theprimacy of juveniles with excellent or good teeth in 26 states whilethe number of those who were accorded a minimum of one dental cariespreventive attention increased in 45 states.

Discussions

There are several symptoms of tooth decay inthe course of the study as affirmed by the study done by Benzian etal. (2011). These include the establishment of dental pulp, too muchsensation of pain and discomfort (e.g. when drinking cold or hotwater) that features reduction in food intake rate, decreased qualityof life among the victimized young individuals as reflected ininsomnia, concentration deficits, and restricted activity. Thefindings also validated that the extension of the pulp into thedental nerves causes a severe toothache, inflamed neck glands,feverishness among the school-age children, and foul smell associatedwith the decay of the soft tissue of the dentition. They concededthat leaving dental caries to progress into teeth cavity is the worstpunishment a juvenile can be accorded because that is associatedswollen jaws, painful chewing, and incisive pain attributed to thedamage of the sensitive nerve endings situated in the pulp cavity.

Having a strong correlation betweenschool absences/performance, dental caries, and dental care as doneJackson et al. (2011) affirms that dental caries is a serious healthproblem that impacts children’s performance by forcing them to missseveral school hours to nurse the pains and health procedures relatedto the infection.&nbsp&nbspThe study done by Mandal(2013), concurred that dental carries or tooth decay represents themost serious constraint for the underage.

The negative impact of caries to children livesincludes symptoms and functional alterations, such as chewing andspeech impairment, schooling factors, speech impairment. Schoolingfactors may include: preschool absenteeism, psychological issues,such as trouble sleeping, and irritably among other factors relatedto social interactions, such as smiling and refraining from speaking.School performance may also decline (Sheiham, 2016). It is alsoevident that dental caries may not only affect the subjects but mayalso influence the life of those living with them. For instance, thereal close friends of the affected as the person may mostly tend tobe glum to hide the infection, hence, no freedom of expression.

Recommendations

There is need to have serious preventivemeasures put in place, this will help the young population, which isat risk of losing the dentition to the infection. The parents need toadvocate for the treatment of dental caries as it changes the life ofchildren mostly by improved progress to sleep and eat well togetherwith less pain among children.&nbspThere is need to have moretraining and awareness made as far as effects of dental caries areconcerned in children. Moreover, there is need to have educationprograms that target the children, parents and caregivers in regardsto dental caries. It has been suggested that infuture more complex models be developed towards enhancing thedynamics of understanding the impact of dental treatment fear ofdental caries. The study concluded that there was a significantrelationship, which exists between dental caries as a disease and thefear of obtaining dental treatment (Esa et al., 2014).

Conclusion

Conclusively, there are numerous research that have been done inregards to the long and short-term effects of dental caries inchildren. One of the bottlenecks has been the implementation of therecommendations put forward. There is need to have more training andawareness made as far as effects of dental caries are concerned inchildren. Also, there is need to have education programs that targetthe children, parents and caregivers in regards to dental caries.When the different measures fronted are applied, there will beimprovement in the oral health of children.

References

Benzian, H., Monse, B., Heinrich-Weltzien, R.,Hobdell, M., Mulder, J., &amp van Palenstein Helderman, W. (2011).Untreated severe dental decay: a neglected determinant of low BodyMass Index in 12-year-old Filipino children.&nbspBMCPublic Health,&nbsp11(1),1.

Bonecker, M., Abanto, J., Tello, G &ampOliveira, L. (2014). Impact of Dental Caries on Preschool Children’sQuality of Life: An Update. BrazilianOral Research, 26(1).Retrieved fromhttp://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&amppid=S1806-83242012000700015on October 22, 2016.

Chou, R., Cantor, A., Zakher, B., Mitchell, J.P., &amp Pappas, M. (2013). Preventing dental caries in children&lt5 years: systematic review updating USPSTF recommendation.Pediatrics,peds-2013. Retrieved October 20, 2016. Retrieved fromhttp://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/2/332

Çolak, H., Dülgergil, Ç. T., Dalli, M., &ampHamidi, M. M. (2013). Early childhood caries update: a review ofcauses, diagnoses, and treatments.&nbspJournalof Natural Science, Biology and Medicine,&nbsp4(1),29. Retrieved from:&nbsphttp://www.jnsbm.org/article.asp?issn=0976-9668year=2013volume=4issue=1spage=29epage=38aulast=%C7olakon 4thOctober, 2016.

Esa, R., Ong, A. L., Humphris, G., &ampFreeman, R. (2014). The relationship of dental caries and dental fearin Malaysian adolescents: a latent variable approach. BMCoral health, 14(19), 1.

Hakan Çolak, Ç. D. (2013). Earlychildhood caries update: A review of causes, diagnoses, andtreatments. Retrieved September 27,2016, from:http://www.jnsbm.org/article.asp?issn=0976-9668year=2013volume=4issue=1spage=29epage=38aulast=%C7olak

Jackson, S. L., Vann Jr, W. F., Kotch, J. B.,Pahel, B. T., &amp Lee, J. Y. (2011). Impact of poor oral health onchildren`s school attendance and performance.&nbspAmericanJournal of Public Health,&nbsp101(10),1900-1906.

Mandal, M. (2013). Changes in Children’s OralHealth Status and Receipt of Preventive Dental Visits, United States,2003–2011/2012.&nbspPreventingchronic disease,&nbsp10(8),166-174.

Shakya, A., Shrestha, M., Shrestha, A., &ampPrasai, L. (2013). Dental caries prevalence, oral health knowledgeand practice among indigenous Chepang school children of Nepal. BMCOral Health.http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6831-13-20

Sheiham, A. (2016). Dental caries affects bodyweight, growth, and the quality of life in pre-school children.British Dental Journal,625 – 626. Retrieved 15thOctober 15, 2016, fromhttp://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v201/n10/full/4814259a.html

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