Thursday, May 23, 2013
Tooth Decay Higher in Rural Alaska
Lack of fluoridation in water and drinking soda are key factors in tooth decay in western Alaska region.
According to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services children in rural Alaska are 4.5 times more likely to have severe cavities compared to the national average.
Officials say the two leading factors associated with tooth decay in both kids baby and adult teeth are the lack of water fluoridation and drinking sugary drinks, like soda.
This finding is based on an investigation conducted in 2008 by the CDC and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services on childhood dental health in rural Alaska.
The findings also found that children age’s 4 to 5 year olds on villages without fluoridation have a tooth decay rate 2.6 times higher than in villages with fluoridation.
Doctor Tom Hennessy of CDC recommends that villages with water systems set up for fluoridation to have it added to their water. For those villages without running water he says, parents can be sure their kids use toothpaste with fluoride or to have health care providers apply fluoride directly onto their teeth.