Childhood obesity and dental development

Pediatr Dent. 2006 Jan-Feb;28(1):18-22.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if increased body mass index (BMI) is associated with accelerated dental development in children ages 8 to 15.

Methods: The dental development ages of 104 children were determined using the Demirjian method and panoramic radiographs. Using the system developed by the International Obesity Task Force, BMI status was determined for each subject (63 normal weight, 23 overweight, and 18 obese subjects). The difference between chronologic age and dental age was analyzed against BMI, age, and gender using 3-way analysis of variance.

Results: Dental development was significantly accelerated with increased BMI, even after adjusting for age and gender (P < .01). The mean difference between chronologic and dental age among all subjects was 0.68 +/- 1.31 years. The mean dental age acceleration for overweight and obese subjects was 1.51 +/- 1.22 years and 1.53 +/- 1.28 years, respectively.

Conclusions: Children who were overweight or obese had accelerated dental development, even after adjusting for age and gender. Accelerated dental development in obese children is an important variable to consider in pediatric dental and orthodontic treatment planning where timing is crucial.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Determination by Teeth
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Tooth / growth & development*
  • Tooth Eruption / physiology*