Childhood body mass index is associated with early dental development and eruption in a longitudinal sample from the Iowa Facial Growth Study
journal contributionposted on 26.09.2018, 00:00 by Christina L. Nicholas, Kevan Kadavy, Nathan E. Holton, Teresa Marshall, Andrew Richter, Thomas Southard
Introduction: High BMI (body mass index) children have been demonstrated to have precocious dental development. Existing work has largely focused on cross-sectional datasets, leaving an incomplete understanding of the longitudinal relationship between BMI and dental maturation. Methods: We used a pure longitudinal growth series to examine the relationship between dental development and childhood BMI. Periapical radiographs from 77 children from the Iowa Growth Study were used to estimate dental development for subjects with known BMI. Results: We confirm prior studies in finding that children with higher BMIs were more likely to have advanced dental development for their ages (p<0.001). BMI at age 4 was predictive of timing of dental development at age 12 (p=0.052). The precocity of the rate of dental development accelerated across growth. Overall dental development scores also correlated with age of dental eruption for the mandibular canines and first premolars (p<0.001). Conclusions: High BMI at young ages is predictive of advanced dental development at later time points, suggesting a long-term effect of BMI on dental maturation, and implying the need for earlier orthodontic interventions in obese children. These results corroborate previous studies, building further evidence that relatively early dental eruption is another downstream consequence of childhood obesity.