News items Link between mothers loss of teeth and number of children
16 March 2018

Women with more children tend to lose more teeth. This is the finding from an extensive European study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

‘Gain a child, lose a tooth’ is a well-known expression suggesting a direct link between the number of children a woman has and the number of teeth she will subsequently lose. Obviously it’s just a saying, but it would appear to have a serious undertone. The subject has never been properly researched.
 
Over-fifties
These days, this old wives’ tale might just be proven to be true. The researchers who carried out the first large-scale study of the assumed link (including Stefan Listl, theme Health care improvement science, professor at Radboud university medical center) just published their results. Their research was based on data from the SHARE (Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe) databank, which provides information on over 120,000 over-fifties from 27 European countries and Israel.
 
Losing teeth
The researchers were particularly interested in a sub-study in SHARE called Wave 5, which registers the number of births in a family and the number of teeth remaining in almost 35,000 people in 14 European countries and Israel. Listl: “People lose more teeth as they grow older. Their level of education also plays a role.” Women of between fifty and sixty years old have lost an average of 7 teeth. Men over eighty years of age must make do with an average of 19 missing teeth. Highly qualified women and men have a lower risk of losing teeth.
 
Third child
The researchers looked at specific groups in more detail: women who had given birth to twins or triplets and women whose first two children were of the same sex. Listl: “If the first two children have the same gender, the chances of wanting a third child of the opposite sex increase. We see that women in this group lose more teeth than women who have a boy and a girl as their first two children. We found no difference in men.”
 
Scratching the surface
The conclusion is that within this group of women, the third child clearly costs the mother teeth, but not the father. “Our results for this group are fairly conclusive”, says Listl, “but this doesn’t mean that it applies to everyone. We need to do more research for this, and to discover which factor makes the difference. Is it really a result of pregnancy or is it perhaps an effect of parenthood? We don’t know yet. This research just scratches the surface; we still need to delve deeper.”
­­­­­­­
Publication in Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health: Gain a child, lose a tooth? Using natural experiments to distinguish between fact and fiction – Frank Gabel, Hendrik Jürges, Kai E Kruk, Stefan Listl
 

More information


Pieter Lomans

information officer

(024) 81 87012

Related news items


European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC) Guidelines

13 August 2019

In Annals of internal medicine Mireille Broeders and colleagues from the ECIBC Guidelines Development Group described the methods used to develop person-centered evidence-based recommendations for screening and diagnosis of breast cancer.

read more

Circulation publication for exercise physiologists

13 August 2019

Thijs Eijsvogels and Vincent Aengevaeren showed that exercise-incuded elevations of troponin concentrations are predictive of major adverse cardiovascular events and mortality.

read more

DELA, Radboudumc and Games for Health start a new project to fight loneliness among elderly using games

12 August 2019

More than half of people aged 75 and over feel their selves lonely every now and then. A special collaboration between DELA, Radboudumc, and Games for Health will investigate whether joined gaming between elderly and young people can alleviate this social problem.

read more

Bart Kiemeney finishes 1st in the Tour and raises thousands of euros

30 July 2019

With over €43,000 on the counter, Kiemeney can see the Tour de France as a great success.

read more

Interested to supervise a bachelor student for a short period?

25 July 2019

For the academic year 2019-2020, we are looking for scientific researchers who want to help second years’ (bio)medical bachelor students in the first steps of their scientific development by supervising their research project.

read more

Implementation of single national warning system will make pediatric wards even safer

25 July 2019

This fall, all Dutch hospitals with a pediatric ward will have the possibility to implement a single signaling system that provides early warnings to caretakers as soon as the vital functions of admitted children are in danger.

read more