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Impact and Effects on Health

ECC increases the risk of caries lesions developing in permanent teeth.

Other health effects include:

 
Bullet
Pain
 
Difficulty chewing, which may lead to poor weight gain
 
Difficulty with speaking
 
Oral infections
 
Loss of sleep, difficulty concentrating, and interrupted learning.
 
Destruction and loss of teeth
 
Damage to permanent teeth


ECC results in increased office, dental, and ER visits.

These costs far exceed those of preventive dental care.

It is approximately 10 times more expensive to provide inpatient care for caries-related symptoms than to provide that same patient with the recommended periodic preventive care.

 
 
Early childhood caries (ECC) has a significant effect on children's overall health.
 
ECC is a strong predictor of caries development in permanent teeth.
 
Approximately 51 million school hours are missed per year for dental problems, with poor, Hispanic females missing school most often.
 
The financial burden of repairing ECC is enormous, with such costs far exceeding those of preventive dental care.
View the Chapter 4 Photo Gallery.