ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
CANCER
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Smog Tougher on the Obese
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Add your Article

Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates

FRIDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Women can blame those extra cavities on their hormones, a new study suggests.

A comprehensive review of dental records in prehistoric and current human populations found that women have more dental health issues than men because of reproduction and fertility issues linked to female-specific hormones.

Previous studies have tied a change in food production by agrarian societies and gender-specific behavioral factors, such as division of labor and dietary preference, to an increase in cavities among women. However, in the October issue of Current Anthropology, John R. Lukacs, of the University of Oregon, pointed more directly at internal as well as external causes.

"I argue that the rise of agriculture increased demands on women's reproductive systems, contributing to an increase in fertility that intensified the negative impact of dietary change on women's oral health. The combined impacts of increased fertility, dietary changes and division of labor during the move into agricultural societies contributed to the widespread gender differential observed in dental caries rates today," Lukacs, a professor of anthropology who specializes in dental, skeletal and nutritional issues, said in a university news release.

He pointed to three main changes leading to women's higher rates of cavities:

* Female sex hormones. Citing his own research, along with a 1954 animal study that found that female estrogens, but not male androgens, were correlated to cavity rates, he said the cumulative effect of estrogens, including fluctuations at puberty and high levels during pregnancy, promote cavities and dietary changes.
* Saliva. Women produce less saliva than men, reducing the removal of food residue from the teeth. During pregnancy, the chemical composition changes, reducing saliva's antimicrobial capacity.
* Food cravings, immune response and aversions during pregnancy. Women often crave high-energy, sweet foods during the third trimester, as well as an aversion to meat in first trimesters.

Yet, Lukacs wrote, it is still not fully understood how these all contribute to a higher risk of cavities in women as they age.

"If hormonal and physiological factors work in an independent or additive manner, their impact on women's oral health could be significant. The fact that women's caries experience increases with age at a greater rate than men's in diverse ethnic groups from different ecological and cultural settings supports this interpretation," he said.

More information

The American Dental Association has more about pregnancy and dental health.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: University of Oregon, news release, Oct. 14, 2008

Last Updated: Oct. 17, 2008

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