Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poor oral health can mean missed school, lower grades

Date:
August 13, 2012
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Poor oral health, dental disease, and tooth pain can put kids at a serious disadvantage in school, upping the risk of low grades and more absences.

Poor oral health, dental disease, and tooth pain can put kids at a serious disadvantage in school, according to a new Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC study.

"The Impact of Oral Health on the Academic Performance of Disadvantaged Children," appearing in the September 2012 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, examined nearly 1500 socioeconomically disadvantaged elementary and high school children in the Los Angeles Unified School District, matching their oral health status to their academic achievement and attendance records.

Ostrow researchers had previously documented that 73 percent of disadvantaged kids in Los Angeles have dental caries, the disease responsible for cavities in teeth. The new study shines light on the specific connection between oral health and performance in school for this population, said Roseann Mulligan, chair of the school's Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry and corresponding author of the study.

Children who reported having recent tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low grade point average -- below the median GPA of 2.8 -- when compared to children without oral pain, according to study results.

Poor oral health doesn't just appear to be connected to lower grades, Mulligan said, adding that dental problems also seem to cause more absences from school for kids and more missed work for parents.

"On average, elementary children missed a total of 6 days per year, and high school children missed 2.6 days. For elementary students, 2.1 days of missed school were due to dental problems, and high school students missed 2.3 days due to dental issues," she said. "That shows oral health problems are a very significant factor in school absences. Also, parents missed an average of 2.5 days of work per year to care for children with dental problems."

A factor in whether children miss school due to dental health issues was the accessibility of dental care. Eleven percent of children who had limited access to dental care -- whether due to lack of insurance, lack of transportation, or other barriers -- missed school due to their poor oral health, as opposed to only four percent of children who had easier access to dental care.

"Our data indicates that for disadvantaged children there is an impact on students' academic performance due to dental problems. We recommend that oral health programs must be more integrated into other health, educational and social programs, especially those that are school-based," Mulligan said. "Furthermore, widespread population studies are needed to demonstrate the enormous personal, societal and financial burdens that this epidemic of oral disease is causing on a national level. "


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hazem Seirawan, Sharon Faust, Roseann Mulligan. The Impact of Oral Health on the Academic Performance of Disadvantaged Children. American Journal of Public Health, 2012; 102 (9): 1729 DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300478

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Poor oral health can mean missed school, lower grades." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813130720.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2012, August 13). Poor oral health can mean missed school, lower grades. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813130720.htm
University of Southern California. "Poor oral health can mean missed school, lower grades." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813130720.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins