The Norman Transcript

Features

July 4, 2013

Saliva shouldn’t stop interaction

NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: I enjoy your column and often find interesting things that apply to humans.

One thing I have been curious about for a long time is spreading tooth decay. There have been reports that a mother kissing her baby can transfer saliva that can give the child dental caries, especially if the mother has untreated cavities. The reports say sharing a spoon can also spread this.

Many people kiss their pets. Some people might use a used dinner spoon to scoop out cat food. I have some pictures of a relative’s German shepherds with their heads in the dishwasher licking the plates. Do you think that pet cavities might be caused from interacting with humans in this way? I was not able to find the original study for the child/mother cavity information.

— S.G., Sandy Hook, Conn.

Dear S.G.: Basically, saliva heals, and the exchange of oral, fecal and body-surface bacteria is an essential part of any infant animal/human developing a healthy bacterial flora. The infant comes in contact with this bacteria when interaction with the mother, others and the soil.

These good bacteria play vital roles in immunity, disease and allergy resistance, digestion and other processes. The bacteria is currently being investigated with some surprising findings, even indicating dysbiosis — a dysfunctional “microbiome” bacterial population in the guts — plays some role in obesity and depression.

Certainly if the microbiome is not well developed in an infant, the introduction of harmful bacteria could be problematic.

My book “Healing Animals & the Vision of One Health” explores such connections.

Dear Dr. Fox: I have two Persian cat brothers who were purchased together as kittens. One of them has a problem: For almost a year now, he will not use the box when pooping. He continues to go on the carpet. He didn’t have this problem before, but it has become an everyday thing. He never urinates outside the box, and he seems to know when he poops on the floor he has done something wrong, because he runs and hides.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014

  • Parents should work on themselves first

    I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they’re having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the problem — they are. All this time (however long ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Helping cat with first veterinarian visit

    Dear Dr. Fox: A stray kitty adopted me a couple months ago and has since been tamed enough that I have found a vet to neuter him and do some much-needed dental work. My fear is that the poor boy will be so traumatized by this ordeal that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Veterans Corner needs volunteer to drive residents to OKC VA

    Veterans Corner volunteer of the week David Sudduth has been with us for the last eight years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served during the Vietnam War. David and his wife, Carolyn, have had their home in the Newalla area ...

    July 23, 2014