Poor oral health may lead to bad grades

Oral Health ChildrenA U. S. researcher claims that poor oral health; tooth pain and cavities can put children at a grave disadvantage in school, resulting in lower grades. In the research 1,500 socioeconomically disadvantaged elementary and high school children in the Los Angeles Unified School District were examined by researcher Roseann Mulligan of the Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California and his colleagues.

In the research, the children's oral health status was matched to their academic achievement and attendance records. The study found 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. The research and its findings are scheduled to be published in the American journal of Public Health.

Mulligan said, Poor oral health doesn't just appear to be connected to lower grades, dental problems also seem to cause more school absences for kids and more missed work for parents. In a statement issued by him said, "On average, elementary children missed a total of six 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. 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."