News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Dental Decay Passed From Mothers To Their Babies


Media Release
Date: 19th July 2010


Dental Decay Is An Infectious Disease Passed From Mothers To Their Babies


The latest international research confirms that tooth decay is an infectious disease passed from mothers to their children reinforcing the message that oral health should be a family affair, according to Dr Andrea Shepperson, lead dentist at City Dental, Quay Park in Auckland, part of Lumino The Dentists, New Zealand’s only national dental healthcare organisation.

Dr Shepperson, an international lecturer in dentistry explains that the new research from the University of California published in the Journal of Dental Research1 shows that: `untreated decay in mothers almost doubled the odds of one of their children having serious untreated decay.

‘Dental decay is an infectious disease which is vertically transmitted from parent to child. Babies are born without the bacteria which cause dental decay but pick this up from their mothers. The bacteria become established on new teeth as they erupt. Mothers with high levels of Mutans Stretococci (a common decay causing bacterium) were likely to place their children at risk of high levels of decay. Left untreated, this infection can continue throughout life.
`We are encouraging mothers to be conscious of their own dental health because it is clearly shown now to be a family affair. Testing for this bacteria is a simple test which allows us to alert parents to the potential risk of decay. I can take a swab and tell my patients within 15 seconds if they are at risk from this kind of tooth decay. Then we’re well armed to help them counteract it. We offer a wide range of products for all ages to mitigate the risk.’

The new study warns that the bacteria that cause tooth decay can be transmitted from person-to-person, including mother-to-child. Almost half of the mothers studied and more than a fourth of the children and adolescents had untreated tooth decay. One means of transmission could be from a mother tasting a child’s food and then using the same spoon to feed her child.

The findings underscore the need for family dentists to ask
about the oral health of other family members. The authors stress that dentists should encourage all family members to get treatment, especially if a child already has tooth decay, and provide the family with the preventive measures, knowledge and skills to help prevent future disease.

-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ Festival : The NZSO Goes To The Disco and more...

In the endless, anguished debates about how to make classical music more relevant to new audiences, proposals are often put forward to strip away certain elements – reduce the formality ... More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Charlotte Yates' Mansfield Project

Katherine Mansfield's vapid verses are of even less interest than her over-rated short stories, but Yates has risen to the challenge of producing a fascinating compilation album by a variety of musicians to accompany her poetry. More>>

Howard Davis: Dazed & Confused by Beats

Beats is both a coming-of-age tale and a romantic movie about endings, set to a nostalgic backdrop of the disappearing tail of the UK's illegal rave scene. More>>

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite
For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 


 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland