Poor oral health more likely for children with heart conditions

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children's oral health heart conditions
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Children with heart conditions are more likely to have poor oral health and teeth in fair or poor condition than those without heart conditions, according to US research. 

Researchers from the CDC in Atlanta published their findings in the February 11 issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

They compared oral health status and receipt of preventive dental care for children with and without heart conditions using data from the 2016 to 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health.

The researchers found that about 83 and 80 per cent of those with and without heart conditions, respectively, received dental care in the previous year. Compared with those without heart conditions, those with heart conditions were more likely to have poor oral health (17.2 versus 13.7 per cent) and teeth in fair or poor condition (9.9 versus 5.3 per cent). 

“These findings could guide strategies, such as parent and patient education and collaboration between pediatricians, dentists, and cardiologists, to improve oral health and care among children with heart conditions, especially those with fewer resources and intellectual or developmental disabilities,” the authors noted.

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