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January 26, 2000

Blood Lead Level and Dental Caries

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(4):476-477. doi:10.1001/jama.283.4.475

To the Editor: Dr Moss and colleagues1 demonstrate an association between increased dental caries and lead exposure. This is problematic statistically when decayed, missing, and filled scores in young children (who are actively losing primary teeth) and older children (with their stable adult dentition) are combined as a single 5- to 17-year-old age group. Studies of historic populations with high lead in their diets identify no related increase in dental decay.2,3

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