Family troubles are dangerous for teeth

Parents and children who experience family troubles, in whose families violence and aggression have become the norm, are more likely to suffer from caries and lose their teeth.

Such data was published by researchers from New York University..

Scientists have concluded that parents with a large number of holes in their teeth are more likely to be victims of physical and verbal aggression by family members.

Children whose mothers are emotionally aggressive towards their fathers are more likely than other children to suffer from caries and lose their teeth.

Dental family health can suffer not only from beatings and other physical injuries, but also as a result of creating a dangerous emotional environment that interferes with basic hygiene measures, such as brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth. Psychoemotional stress and a lack of proper nutrition can play a role. This is how scientists explain their discovery on the pages of the September issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

“The literature describes many examples of how a hostile family environment negatively affects physical health, so we were not surprised by the results. We have found more than convincing evidence that the more hostile your partner is, the more holes you will have in your teeth, ”says lead author of the study, Michael Lorber, Director of Development Studies, Family Translation Research Group, NYU College of Dentistry.

Aggression is a shockingly familiar phenomenon in American families, where 90% of families in 2005 reported parental aggression against children, husbands aggression against wives, and other types of aggressive behavior.

For their new study, Lorber and his colleagues analyzed 135 married or living heterosexual couples, as well as their school children. Study participants are predominantly white Americans with an average annual income of $ 100,000.

Dentists examined the oral cavity of each participant, indicating the number of missing teeth, holes and fillings. The attitude of the participants themselves to oral health was displayed in questionnaires that were filled out by both parents and children.

Parents also filled out questionnaires in which they reported physical or emotional aggression between partners and children, as well as discipline in the family. In addition, scientists evaluated the attitude of participants to strangers in the laboratory.

Family troubles are dangerous for teeth

It turned out that with every additional statistical score of physical or emotional aggression in the family, men have an average of 5.3 extra holes in their teeth, and women - 3.5. In children, each additional point of family aggression leads to the appearance of 1.9 additional holes in the teeth, and also significantly increases the risk of tooth loss.

Lorber notes that in addition to breaking healthy eating habits, a troubled family environment can affect the human immune system, accelerating tooth decay and leading to a whole bunch of other problems.

“Maybe if you live like a cat with a dog, you just don’t watch your teeth… or eat more sweets. Definitely, the immune system in such families suffers. This is another possible mechanism for impaired oral health, ”says the scientist..

The authors emphasize that the design of this study does not allow proving a causal relationship between a hostile family environment and accelerated tooth decay..

Dr. Jane Gillette, a dental researcher with his private practice in Bozeman, Montana, says that dentists should consider the deterioration of dental health in family patients as a sign of negative dynamics in their family relationships.

“There are many ways for an intervention by a healthcare provider. We can recommend such people brush their teeth more often.… eat healthy foods and floss. But if you understand that negative family dynamics affect the dental health of parents and children, you can work on that, too, ”says Dr. Gillette, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association.

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