Unhealthy lifestyle ups dental caries prevalence in teens with internet addiction | Latest news for Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists
Dental caries develop more often among adolescents with internet addiction (IA), an effect driven partly by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, a recent Japan study has found.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional assessment of 1,562 high school students, in whom IA was characterized using the Young’s Internet Addiction Test, with a score of ≥50 being indicative of addiction. Lifestyle was assessed using the unhealthy lifestyle behavior index (ULBI), which looks at eight different indicators. Dental caries was diagnosed according to the number of decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth (DMFT).
Of the participants, 406 were deemed to have IA. These teens had a median DMFT score of 1, as opposed to 0 in comparators without IA (p=0.049).
ULBI scores were significantly worse in teens with IA. For instance, 13.8 percent brushed their teeth <2 times per day, as opposed to only 9.2 percent in comparators without IA (p=0.01). Similarly, 35.7 percent of the IA population did not brush before bed, while only 26.1 percent of the non-IA group did so (p<0.01).
Sleeping <6 hours per day, having one or more regular soft drinks or sweet snacks per day, and keeping an irregular supper schedule were also significantly higher in the IA group.
Poisson regression analysis revealed a significant link between IA and DMFT (incidence rate ratio [IRR]1.12, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.03–1.21; p<0.01), an effect that was significantly mediated by ULBI (IRR, 1.05, 95 percent CI, 1.03–1.07; p<0.01). The proportion mediated was 64.3 percent.