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If Mother Has Tooth Decay, Odds Increase That Child Does Too
Date:6/15/2010

A UCSF study examining the oral health of rural Hispanic families found that untreated tooth decay in mothers almost doubled the odds of tooth decay in children. The findings indicate a strong relationship between the oral health of mothers and their children, the authors say.

(Vocus) June 15, 2010 -- A UCSF study examining the oral health of rural Hispanic families found that untreated tooth decay in mothers almost doubled the odds of tooth decay in children.

The findings indicate a strong relationship between the oral health of mothers and their children, the authors say. They also suggest that entire families need access to dental health education, prevention and treatment.

“These results translate into key messages for parents, dentists and policy makers,” said Jane A. Weintraub, DDS, MPH director of UCSF’s Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health and chair of the Division of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health. “The oral health of parents, especially moms, can impact the oral health of children, so dentists should include the whole family in the dental care process -- not just the individual in the chair -- to prevent future disease.”

The findings of the study are published online in the Journal of Dental Research, which is the journal for the International Association of Dental Research. (http://jdr.sagepub.com/cgi/rapidpdf/0022034510372891v1)

Although a specific population was analyzed in this study, its conclusions are likely to be valid for other demographic populations because bacteria that cause tooth decay can be transmitted from person-to-person, including mother-to-child, the authors say. Almost half of the mothers studied and more than a fourth of the children and adolescents
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