Motherhood clouded by dental problems
TOKYO, Japan: Women who have given birth to a number of children are more prone to dental diseases and tooth loss, new research from Japan implies. In a nationwide study conducted by the Tokyo Medical and Dental University and the National Cancer Center, it is suggested that the more children a woman has had during her life, the more likely it is that she has fewer functional teeth.
In the study, female participants were compared with male participants, among whom no relation between their number of teeth and number of children was found. The researchers therefore suggested that there might be a number of pathological and socio-behavioural factors that may promote tooth loss among high-parity women. In order to address this, greater effort regarding the information made available and management of a woman’s dental health during pregnancy is essential, they recommended.
The study, supported by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, was conducted between 2005 and 2006, and involved more than 1,500 women and men recruited from two national dental surveys done in 1990 and 2005. Women who had given birth to two children constituted the largest group. Every fourth woman in the study had given birth to three children, and one in thirty women had given birth to four children. Similar figures regarding number of children were reported for the men in the study.
According to the researchers, it is the first study of its kind in Japan.