Genetically speaking, different parts of TSK’s (That Special Kid) body have all kinds of different germs…viruses, bacteria, and maybe some we haven’t identified! These bacteria that live with us are called our Microbiome!
According to several definitions, a microbiome is “the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that share our body space. That just means there are many viruses, bacteria and maybe other little beasties we haven’t even identified yet that go with you and TSK to the park, or observe TSK eating that extra cookie, or are along for the ride with TSK’s last temper fit.
TSK’s body seems to “decide” which ones will live in different areas. There are different types of bacteria in our mouth, our stomach and intestines and in our nose and throat. Studies are going on for other body areas as well!
These Microbiome beasties seem to be very necessary for our survival!
A new study from the journal Science Translational Medicine looked at the microbiome bacteria of placentas, after birth. The idea was to see who baby TSK was sharing time with, at least very soon before birth. Now, in the past, we had noted there seemed to be a difference in the microbiome of infants born by C-section vs vaginal delivery, and so assumed this was related to the mother’s birth canal bugs. But this study of about 300 placentas showed that the placentas’ bacteria load was most similar to… are you ready?…the mothers’ mouth bacteria. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! The researchers didn’t, either. So, if the mom had more bacteria in her mouth that cause cavities, so did her placenta.
Now, cavities are just bacterial infection that rots the teeth. And maybe in the future, these bacteria will prove to have some redeeming feature that we can’t even imagine, today.
But in the meantime, avoid cavity-causing mouth bacteria, especially during pregnancy with not sharing spit, and seeing your friendly dentist. We do know that if moms have cavities, TSK is more likely to have cavities, so give TSK a swig of water after eating or drinking anything after a few months of age. And start brushing those teeth and gums early…and most importantly…DON’T SHARE SPIT!!!
Give that kid a hug, and everyone, have a clean mouth! Gene