More than 50% of elementary school children in U.S have tooth decay and cavities which may need fillings.
For nearly four decades, dentists have been using tooth-colored fillings that contain derivatives of the chemical bisphenol A.
Recent research has revealed that these non-metal fillings can up the risk of behavioral problems in children. The study however has pointed only to a potential connection and there is no conclusive evidence yet that BPA causes any behavioral changes in children.
During the study, scientists found that children who got tooth-colored fillings made with BPA derivatives experienced higher rates of social anxiety and depression compared to children whose fillings were made with metals or other materials. Further, the risk of behavioral problems increased with the number of fillings a child received.
"There is a strong suggestion that the associations may be causal, but we can't be certain," says Maserejian, an epidemiologist with the New England Research Institutes. "More research is needed."