Children acquire cariogenic bacteria from inside and outside the family

  • By Joel Snyder
  • 13 Sep, 2016

BOSTON, USA: Previous studies have shown that children acquire cariogenic pathogens, like Streptococcus mutans, mainly from their mothers through interpersonal contact, such as the sharing of cutlery or kissing each other on the lips. However, new research has now suggested that intra- and extra-familial sources other than maternal also play a part in the transmission of S. mutans, the primary bacterium associated with dental caries.

S. mutans   is considered to be transferred between humans. Children typically have more than one strain of the pathogen and share at least one of these strains with their mother or a family member. However, 72 percent of children in the current study had one or more   S. mutans strains that were not found in participating household members. Therefore, the researchers suggested that these strains came from outside the home, possibly from other children in the population.

“While the prevailing theory on   S. mutans   transmission suggests mother-to-child transmission as the primary route of infection, in this study 40 percent of children shared no strains with their mothers,” said study author Stephanie Momeni, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the U.S. Interestingly, 22.8 percent of the children shared 37 strains only with another child in the household (siblings or cousins), demonstrating another dimension of inter-familial transmission.

In total, the researchers evaluated 13,145   S. mutans   isolates from 119 African-American children and from at least one family member living in the same household, since not all family members chose to participate in the study in each case. More than one family member was evaluated for 76 percent of the children, with an average of 3.24 family members per child, including extended family. Aside from participating family members, the study evaluated   S. mutans   isolates of interacting children.  

“While the data supports that   S. mutans   is often acquired through mother-to-child interactions, the current study illuminates the importance of child-to-child acquisition of   S. mutans   strains and the need to consider these routes of transmission in dental caries risk assessments, prevention and treatment strategies,” Momeni stated.  

According to the researchers, further analysis with an alternate bacterial typing method is needed to confirm these findings. They presented the results of their study, titled “Evidence for horizontal transmission of   streptococcus mutans   among children and their family members by Rep-Pcr,” at the American Society for Microbiology Microbe meeting in Boston on June 17.


Article Originally Posted on:  http://www.dental-tribune.com/articles/news/americas/29845_children_acquire_cariogenic_bacteria_from...

Fabulous Smiles Tips and News

By Jennifer Lotfy 12 Nov, 2017

From seeing the spooky forceps and needles to even smelling dental compounds, 5-8% of patients refuse to seek dental care all together and 20% of patients will only go to the dentist when necessary.


I think I have odontophobia. What can I do to prevent panic during visits?


  1. Easier said than done - practice positive self-talk! Tell yourself “YOU CAN DO IT!”

  2. Make sure to remind yourself “everything WILL be okay.” Your dentist is a professional and is someone you can trust.

  3. Don’t be nervous - speak up to your dentist. Let him/her know when you’re having a rough time. Listening to your concerns face-to-face helps both sides - you and your dentist. Your dentist can help make an ideal and reasonable commitment that makes you feel comfortable because dental health is SO important! Knowledge is power!

  4. Download your favorite podcast, album, or playlist before heading to the office. Distract your thoughts and link the experience to something you ENJOY.

  5. Don’t forget headphones! Your dentist will not be upset if you put your headphones in to distract your thoughts.

  6. Take deep breaths! Think about pleasant experiences in your life to stay calm.

  7. Here at Fabulous Smiles, we have a therapy dog named Bailey that will ease any panic you might have.

By Jennifer Lotfy 07 Nov, 2017
 This easy to read chart applies for all ages - to fight bad breath, gum disease, and cavities.
By Katharine Jones 29 Sep, 2017

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By Joel Snyder 14 Sep, 2017
We believe that a Holistic approach to dentistry is about caring for the individual and not just what insurance recommends. The anxiety of going to the dentist is more the fear of neglect and infrequent visits, causing compounding problems and escalating cost. That is why this approach works, saving time and money, fear and anxiety, inconvenient appointments, and repeated office visits.

The Holistic approach looks at the entire person, your environment, and more importantly your health! Many health related issues can cause dental problems. Cancer treatments , pharmaceuticals, diabetes, and other reactive side effects from medial treatments (and lack of treatments) all contribute to oral health. Knowing more about the person and creating a treatment plan that fits their lifestyle is key to maintaining good oral health. The opposite can also be true, as bad oral care leads to other health related complications and infections.

Even healthy people need to maintain regular checks and monitoring. Cosmetic treatments, sealing of tooth enamel and cavity prevention, even treating of minor gum disease can improve overall lasting health. Allow yourself to be treated based on your lifestyle, and not to be ruled by insurance and corporate plans. The biggest benefits are lasting health and reducing the overall financial exposure.

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