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Chalk teeth in children: harmful chemical in plastic could be the cause

Chalk teeth in children: harmful chemical in plastic could be the cause


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Bisphenol A in plastic could be the cause of hypersensitive chalk teeth

More and more children and adolescents in Germany suffer from hypersensitive chalk teeth. Some scientists believe that the main cause of the new widespread disease is the widespread use of bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics. Consumer advocates are now calling for a ban on the harmful chemical in packaging and tableware.

When brushing your teeth hurts

Health experts keep pointing out the importance of regular tooth brushing. Because proper oral hygiene can not only effectively prevent gingivitis, toothache and unpleasant bad breath, but of course also tooth decay. For people suffering from so-called "chalk teeth" brushing their teeth is usually painful because their teeth are hypersensitive. Scientists do not agree why the dental disease is spreading faster and faster.

Hypersensitive teeth

An increasing number of children and adolescents in Germany suffer from chalk teeth, more than 30 percent of 12 year olds, reports the Schleswig-Holstein Consumer Center in a message.

This developmental disorder is associated with enormous dangers for dental health.

It makes the enamel porous, making the teeth hypersensitive and prone to tooth decay.

Sufferers experience pain when eating and, in the worst case, lose their teeth.

Some scientists suspect the main cause of the new widespread disease in the widespread use of bisphenol A (BPA) in plastics, others doubt it.

Healthy tooth enamel development is disturbed

The development of tooth enamel begins with unborn children and lasts until around the age of five.

Scientists from the USA reported in a study that they found evidence that BPA interferes with the healthy development of tooth enamel in infancy and is involved in the formation of chalk teeth.

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has evaluated this study and doubts the connection.

In the heading of the communication, the BfR writes:

"The connection between" chalk teeth "in children (molar incisor hypomineralization, MIH) and the intake of bisphenol A is unlikely according to the current state of knowledge".

Consumer advocates are calling for a ban on BPA

The final scientific evidence for a relationship between BPA and chalk teeth is still pending.

Nevertheless, the consumer advice center considers it necessary to ban BPA for precautionary reasons. The chemical affects the hormonal balance and is suspected of harming health.

"This substance can be contained in packaging, dishes or tin cans coated on the inside," explains Gudrun Köster, expert for food and nutrition at the consumer center.

"This is how BPA can pass into food and thus into the body."

Avoid harmful chemical

So far, BPA has only been banned in baby bottles in Europe, and from 2020 it will also be banned for coating thermal paper.

The chemical continues to be used as an inner coating in cans or beverage cans; it can also occur in plastic microwave dishes.

As the consumer advice center explains, the recycling code 7 and the abbreviation PC (polycarbonate) can indicate BPA, there is no labeling requirement.

If you want to avoid BPA, you better use canned goods in the glass and use dishes made of porcelain or other ceramics.

According to the experts, alternatives to BPA are also not harmless, but less well researched.

The consumer advice center therefore demands that chemicals may only be used in food packaging and dishes if toxicological studies classify them as harmless. (ad)

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