ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Bone Loss Stable on Restricted Calorie Diet
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
CANCER
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
EPA Alerts Seniors to Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
Barefoot Best for Running?
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Vitamin E Helps Treat Common Liver Disease
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
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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