Adults with gum disease can transmit the bacteria to children

Adults suffering from periodontitis can transmit the disease to their children, it has been foundAdults suffering from periodontitis can transmit the disease to their children, it has been found. 

And the bacteria remains even if children receive treatments – emphasising the need for good preventive care.

This is according to recent research carried out at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil.

The research team concluded that the oral microbiome of parents is transferred to their children. And this is maintained despite controlling hygiene.

Resilient to shift

Mabelle de Freitas Monteiro is a dental surgeon and first author of the article. Alongside a team, she has been researching gum disease for 10 years, assessing sufferers and also how it affects their children.

‘The parents’ oral microbiome is a determinant of the subgingival microbial colonisation of their children,’ write the authors.

‘Dysbiotic microbiota acquired by children of periodontitis patients at an early age are resilient to shift. The community structure is maintained even after controlling the hygiene status.’

Monteiro added: ‘If the findings are applied to day-to-day dental practice, the study can be said to also help design more direct approaches.

‘Knowing that periodontal disease may affect the patient’s family is an incentive to use preventive treatment. As well as seek early diagnosis and mitigate complications.’

COVID complications

This comes as research suggests that patients with gum disease are three times more likely to suffer from COVID-19 complications.

Assessing more than 500 patients with the virus, the team also found those with periodontitis were nine times more likely to die in comparison to those with healthy gums.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, blood markers suggesting inflammation in the body were higher in coronavirus patients who have gum disease. This also indicates that inflammation may explain the raised complication rates.

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