A recent study has discovered an indirect association between internet addiction and dental cavities in students.
According to this study, internet addiction hurts oral health and increases the risk of decayed, missing, or filled permanent teeth.
Excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges or behaviors regarding internet use, termed internet addiction
IA can result in physical inactivity, short sleep duration, and inappropriate dietary habits, such as irregular mealtimes and frequent consumption of soft drinks and snacks. Also, several lifestyle behaviors are considered risk factors for dental caries because they disrupt good oral hygiene and are associated with bacterial activity and plaque accumulation. Based on these findings, IA could be indirectly associated with dental caries through unhealthy lifestyle behaviors among adolescents.
It was found in this study that IA was associated with poorer oral health behaviors, such as less frequent toothbrushing and not brushing teeth before bed.
Lifestyle behaviour was assessed on the basis of the following eight factors:
- Tooth brushing frequency
- Tooth brushing before bed
- Interdental cleaning device use
- Sleep duration
- Soft drink consumption
- Sweet snack consumption
- Meal regularity in the evening and
- Late-evening snacking
The researchers explained: “Poor oral hygiene accelerates dental plaque accumulation and bacterial activity in dental plaque, which results in dental caries development and progression. Overall, one potential reason for the higher prevalence of dental caries among the study participants who suffered from [internet addiction] was the loss of dental plaque control, which was associated with unhealthy lifestyle behaviour.”
In addition, students with an internet addiction were more likely to:
- Have unhealthy lifestyle behaviours
- Be female
- Be 16-17 years old
- Not use a fluoride toothpaste
- Have poorer oral health habits.
Source : Scientific Reports
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