Ever wonder where dental microbes come from? Dental microbes, the microorganisms that live in your mouth that can cause cavities and other oral health problems, were previously thought to be shared with each person’s mother and other family members. However, according to a recent study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 72% of children had a plaque-causing strain of the microbe known as Streptococcus mutans that no family member in the household had.
The findings suggest that the microbes may have come from other children who aren’t members of the family.
Almost one half (40%) of those studied didn’t share any S. mutans strains with their mothers. Another 20% of those kids only shared these S. mutans strains with other children in the home like a cousin or sibling. The remaining nearly 75% did share at least one strain of bacteria with their moms.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/26/2016) Serendigity (Flickr)