Could Black Mold Be Behind America’s Childhood Tooth Decay Epidemic?
By the age of 17, 78% of Americans have had at least one dental cavity, according to WNDU-TV. For years, poor dental hygiene and sugary drinks and snacks have been blamed for America’s child tooth decay epidemic. But as one study found that toxic black mold was present in 100% of homes tested where children experienced tooth decay, it’s time to consider the impact that growing up in a mold-infested home has on a child’s teeth.
The impact of black mold
Black mold is often found in warm, moist areas of the home and is commonly seen around windows and behind large pieces of furniture. This means it could be lurking in your child’s bedroom without you even realizing it. When a child breathes in the toxic spores caused by black mold, it causes respiratory issues, including coughing and sneezing. This then results in excess mucus building up in the nasal passage and sinus cavity. When this happens, children will start to breathe via their mouth rather than their nose. When you breathe out of your mouth, less saliva is produced. As saliva protects the teeth, the less of it a child has, the more likely they are to experience tooth decay.
Removing black mold from the home
It goes without saying that any black mold in the home must be removed, in order to protect children’s teeth from tooth decay. Black mold can be treated naturally with ingredients such as baking soda, tea tree oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. But in many cases, you’ll need to call in a mold remediation service to remove all traces of mold. They’ll conduct a thorough assessment of your home and ensure that all mold is treated and removed. This may involve mold-infected furniture and similar items being disposed of and an anti-microbial paint is likely to be used to prevent future mold issues. Once this has been done, you should notice an instant improvement in your child’s breathing and saliva production.
Is mold really to blame?
It’s all too easy for dentists and even parents to blame a child’s diet for being the cause of a child’s tooth decay. But with a study in 2019 finding that more than 15% of children don’t regularly consume added sugars, it’s unlikely that diet is always to blame, Rather, other factors, including mold in the home, should be considered as a cause for tooth decay. For example, the sheer amount of time spent in a mold-infested room is likely to contribute to a child’s tooth decay, too. After all, the same study found that children between 3 and 15 years of age average between 7.4 and 9.6 hours of sleep per night. In comparison, sugar sits on the teeth for around 20 minutes, so the long-term constant exposure to mold is just as bad, if not worse, than added sugar consumption.
With so many homes being plagued by some degree of black mold, it’s highly likely that it’s contributing to the nation’s childhood tooth decay epidemic. It’s therefore crucial that all traces of mold are dealt with swiftly to protect the future of your child’s smile.