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Am J Dent. 2012 Feb;25(1):59-64.

Childhood dental caries and childhood obesity. Different problems with overlapping causes.

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Tufts Medical Center Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



To review and summarize the current literature on the issues contributing to the increased prevalence of childhood obesity and dental caries and to provide direction and guidelines for dental practitioners as well as other health professionals for interventions that may help stem the tide of both conditions.


Through a review of the recent literature, the most recent research on the nutritional issues in common to both childhood caries and childhood obesity are reported, as well as clinical interventions which are considered appropriate in dental practice.


Factors contributing to both childhood caries and childhood obesity are psychosocial as well as nutritional. Family patterns, lifestyle issues, and school-based issues all play a role. The literature shows that many of the same issues contribute to both childhood caries and childhood obesity, and that it is within the scope of responsibility of dental practitioners to provide guidance for the prevention and reduction of both.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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