ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
CANCER
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
CAREGIVING
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Probiotics Are The Good Guys
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor
Rainy Areas in U.S. Show Higher Autism Rates
EYE CARE, VISION
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Healthy Living Adds Years to Life
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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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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