Do Night Owls Get More Cavities in Their Teeth


A recent study found that teenagers that tend to stay up late at night also tend to have a higher risk for dental caries, commonly referred to as cavities. The risk was nearly four times higher for these "night owls" than their early-riser counterparts.

The study included nearly 200 teenagers ages 15 and 16. Scientists in the study categorized 37% of the participants as evening types (night owls), those who are alert in the evening but tired in the morning. 13% of the participants were categorized as morning types, those who are alert in the morning but tired in the evening. The balance of the participants, representing half of those studied, were categorized as neutral types.

The researchers found that morning and neutral types typically had breakfast every morning and brushed their teeth twice per day. In contrast, evening types less frequently ate breakfast or brushed their teeth. After evaluating the individual participants for having a high risk of cavities, it was determined that the risk was nearly four times greater for evening types than morning types. The researchers suggested that dentists should consider these risk factors when educating their patients about dental hygiene and care for their teeth.

The study was published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene.




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