The Atopic Triad is well-known in eczema circles. This is a combination of three medical conditions that tend to be clustered together in eczema children: asthma, hay fever, and eczema. All three of these conditions are caused by inflammation, and if your eczema child has one, the odds are much greater that they will develop the other two. Now, there is evidence that may show there is another childhood condition that could also occur alongside eczema: tooth decay.
We found this article this week highlighting a study from the National University of Singapore that seems to support a link between childhood dental health and eczema.
Researchers found that babies and toddlers with childhood eczema are three times more likely to have tooth decay at around the ages of two to three years old. The study, which is part of the “Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes program, or GUSTO for short, recruited pregnant women from a sample of over 1,200 families in Singapore. At the ages of three, six, and 12 months, the parents of these newborns were interviewed to see if their children had developed eczema.
The study found that infants and toddlers who developed eczema were 3.29 times more likely to also develop tooth decay. They believe this could be because of structural defects during tissue development. These same defects can cause a weakening of the skin barrier that can contribute to eczema.
Although this sounds like terrible news, as no one wants eczema children to have to go through any more than they already do, it could be a bit of a blessing in disguise. Parents may now have a sort of “early warning system” to alert them if their eczema children could suffer from major tooth decay. Tooth decay can easily be averted with regular trips to the dentist and proper dental care. Also, remember—this is just one study that shows a link. This is not definitive proof that eczema and tooth decay are related. That being said, it might not be a bad idea, if your child developed eczema as a baby, to keep a closer eye on their dental health.
Eczema in toddlers can be very difficult for parents, and we suspect that toothaches probably wouldn’t help matters much. Even though we don’t sell eczema-safe toothpaste (Thank heavens that we don’t have to), we do believe in promoting good dental health, along with excellent skin health. Teach your toddlers to brush once in the morning, after every meal, and then before bed at night (just after wet wrap therapy!) That kind of habit can serve them well, long past the point where they will have to worry about eczema. Remember, there is a good chance that children will grow out of eczema, but the possibility of tooth decay will be with them for the rest of their life!
National University of Singapore. “Babies with eczema may have tooth decay later” <http://www.futurity.org/babies-eczema-tooth-decay-1340512-2/>. Futurity. Futurity. 23 January 2017. Web. 26 January 2017.