ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
CANCER
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Maximize Your Run
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Hidden Salt in Diet Haunts Many With Heart Failure
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
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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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