These days, it’s quite common to hear every excuse under the sun for a badly behaved child, but scientists in America have discovered that it might be something more than just poor parenting making kids naughty; chemicals in dental fillings could be causing them to act out.
A study carried out by researchers at New England Research revealed that the chemicals used in certain filler materials could cause behavioural problems; the tests involved examining the behaviour of 534 children who had at least two fillings. The results showed that kids who had several fillings made with the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, had a tendency to lash out more aggressively than those who had fewer restorations. The study also suggested that children aged between six and ten who had amalgam fillings did not suffer the same problems.
Author of the research, Nancy Maserejian, spoke to online news resource Health Day about the results, saying that it came as a surprise that composite plastic fillings seemed to be causing more behavioural issues than amalgam – which tends to be negatively singled out because of its mercury content. She went on to add ‘On average, the difference in social behaviour scores were very small and would probably not be noticed for each individual child. But imagine a huge group of children around the country; you’d probably notice a difference.’ Although the current trends seem to be inconclusive, previous research into BPA has suggested that prolonged exposure can lead to hyperactivity and aggression in young people.