A new study suggests that white dental fillings containing a material derived from bisphenol A may have minor psychosocial effects on the behavior of children. The research, published today in The Journal of Pediatrics, studies the effects of bis-GMA, a resin used in white composite dental fillings.
In the study (subscription required), researchers examined nearly a decade's worth of data looking at the behavior of 434 children with composite fillings and noticed a slight increase in neuropsychological defects among the subjects. An article from ScienceNews explains:
The 6- to 10-year olds were then followed for five years, with the children or their parents periodically participating in assessments of a kid’s mood, behaviors (including aggression), attitudes at school and interpersonal relationships.
That original study, published in 2006, turned up no problems associated with metal fillings. But the research did hint that composite fillings might be worrisome. After reanalyzing their data, the researchers now find that children receiving bis-GMA fillings did exhibit low-level changes on behavioral assessments.
Measured changes were small, perhaps 2 to 6 points on a 100-point scale — and most strongly associated with higher exposures and with fillings in back, which are subject to the most wear and tear during eating, the researchers report online July 16 in Pediatrics.
Researchers are currently working on a follow-up study that will test urine samples of children recently treated with bis-GMA fillings.