Student studies links between breastfeeding and oral health

Sarah Hayes represents WVU at dental research meeting

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Sarah E. Hayes, M.S., M.P.H., a WVU doctoral student in psychology, represented the West Virginia University School of Dentistry at the Hinman Student Research Symposium in October at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis.


Sarah Hayes and her research poster


Sarah is part of an interprofessional research team that is studying links between oral health and other health and wellness measures at the Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia at WVU.  Her presentation centered on a study of 244 women throughout their pregnancies and afterward, and showed some correlation between those who breast-fed their babies for longer periods and better overall oral health.

The Hinman Student Research Symposium is a national meeting that features oral and poster presentations of research studies by dental students and graduate trainees from dental schools across North America.

Having a psychology student represent a dental school at the annual conference is unusual, said her graduate advisor, Daniel W. McNeil, Ph.D., Eberly College of Arts and Sciences distinguished professor of psychology and clinical professor of dental practice and rural health at WVU SOD. “Her involvement, and my own, is testimony to the School of Dentistry’s openness to, and encouragement of, transdisciplinary research.  Their sponsorship of her for the Hinman is unique, and speaks to our dental school being forward-thinking about interprofessional education.”


Contact: Bill Case, WVU