Exposure to childhood trauma might increase one’s risk of tooth loss later in life.

Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed data from a survey of older adults nationwide. Data focused on adversity in childhood including abuse and the death of a parent, adversity in adulthood including poverty status and educational attainment, and total tooth loss in old age.

The team, which published their findings in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, found that childhood trauma influences total tooth loss over the course of one’s life. Additionally, adversity in adulthood contributes to poor oral health.

Researchers say that adverse experiences could impact tooth loss through psychosocial pathways. For example, children who were abused may be more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like binge-drinking, which can contribute to tooth loss.


Lee, H. (2019, May 21). A life course approach to total tooth loss: Testing the sensitive period, accumulation, and social mobility models in the Health and Retirement Study. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cdoe.12463

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Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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