Asthma and Cavities in Children Not Linked

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 17 (UPI) — Despite being the two most prevalent chronic U.S. childhood diseases, asthma and cavities apparently are not linked to one another, U.S. researchers say.

First author Dr. Gerardo Maupome of the Indiana University School of Dentistry in Indianapolis and colleagues reviewed 27 separate studies on tooth decay and asthma.

The analysis, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, finds little evidence to suggest asthma causes tooth decay. “The notion that there is a link between asthma and tooth decay may have its origin in anecdotal statements by emergency room workers,” Maupome says in a statement. “It’s reasonable to believe that poor clinical management may be associated with both conditions, not the asthma that is causing the cavities.”

Maupome says tooth decay and asthma are the two most prevalent chronic U.S. childhood diseases and a large number of variables are involved. For instance, nebulizers may expose asthma patients to more sugar because they use fructose to deliver therapy.

However, the evidence does not support the idea asthma causes tooth decay.

“In fact, the two largest studies we reviewed found that children with asthma appear to have fewer cavities than others,” Maupome says.

“This may be because their parents are used to taking them to healthcare providers, and routinely bring them to the dentist,” Maupome says.

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