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DeNtal tribuNe | January-March, 2010
World News
Oral bacteria linked to stillbirth
system takes care of the bacteria
By Case Western Reserve University
School of Dental Medicine
in the blood before it reaches
the placenta. In this case, the
mother had experienced an
Researchers at the Department
upper respiratory infection and
of Periodontics at Case Western
a low-grade fever just a few
Reserve University School of
days before the stillbirth. The
Dental Medicine reported the
baby died from a septic infection
first documented link between
and inflammation caused by
a mother with pregnancy associ-
the bacteria.
ated gum disease to the death
of her fetus. The studies find-
The study underlines the
ings will be discussed in the
growing importance of good
February issue of Obstetrics
oral health care. In addition
& Gynecology.
to this direct link from the
mother to her baby, oral bacteria
Approximately 75 per cent
have been associated with heart
Pregnant women should take extra care of their oral health. (DTI/Photo Yuri Arcurs)
disease, diabetes and arthritis.
of pregnant women experience
gum bleeding due to the hor-
pregnancy,” said Yiping Han,
Due to pregnancy-associated
to match the bacterium found
monal changes during preg-
lead researcher of the study.
gingivitis, Fusobacterium nucl-
in the mother’s mouth with
(Edited by Claudia Salwiczek,
nancy. “There is an old wives’
“But if there is another underly-
eatum, a bacteria commonly
the bacterium in the baby’s
infected lungs and stomach.
tale that you lose a tooth for
ing condition in the background,
found in the mouth, entered
each baby, and this is due to
then you may lose more than
the blood and worked its way
the underlying changes during
a tooth but a baby.”
to the placenta. Han was able
Normally a mother’s immune
Museum dispels myth about George Washington’s teeth
George Washington’s teeth are on display at the National Museum of Dentistry in
Baltimore. (DTI/Photo Fred Michmershuizen)
Fred Michmershuizen
and his tooth troubles. His
made of ivory — are on display,
dentures — which were actually
know that George Washington’s
as well as forceps made to pull
false teeth were not really
his teeth on the Revolutionary
made of wood? Those who visit
War battlefield and examples of
the National Museum of Den-
presidential portraits that show
tistry, located here, can see
how tooth loss affected Washing-
first president’s famous chop-
ton’s appearance.
pers on display, & they can find
out more about his tooth trou-
According to the museum,
bles. The story about wooden
Washington lost his first tooth
teeth is a myth.
when he was 22 years old.
Despite the fact that he brushed
“Many people are surprised
with tooth powder daily, he
to find out that George Washing-
would have only one tooth in
ton never had wooden dentures,”
his mouth by the time he was
said Museum Curator Dr. Scott
inaugurated president in 1789.
Swank, in a recent press release.
Washington had many illnesses
“We think the myth arose since
during his life, including small-
ivory dentures tend to stain like
pox and malaria. Treatments
wood after years of eating and
included remedies like mer-
known to destroy the teeth.
The National Museum of
Dentistry features a gallery
devoted to the first president
His favorite dentist, John
Greenwood, would make several
sets of dentures for Washington
museum. In fact, they were
gold and held in place with
during his lifetime — and
springs that held the upper and
none of them would be made
ivory and elephant ivory. Some
from wood, according to the
of the dentures were set in
lower teeth together.