More evidence shows students who have dental problems struggle more in school. A new study of almost 1,500 disadvantaged students in Los Angeles public schools found those who had had recent tooth pain were four times more likely to have a low grade-point average (below 2.8) than those who didn't have problems.
Another recent survey found that one in nine American children ages 9 to 11 have untreated tooth decay in their permanent, adult teeth. A 2011 study in North Carolina concluded students with poor oral health were three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.
Parents and policy makers should be concerned with the findings, says Matt Jacob for the Pew Center on the States. In California, about 504,000 children missed at least one school day in 2007 because of a toothache or another oral health-related problem. (Read more)