New antibiotic may treat gum disease

A new antibiotic being developed at the University of Virginia School of Medicine appears ideal for battling periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, according to dental researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University led by Richard T. Marconi.

The drug, amixicile, was found to be effective against the harmful “Red Group” of  associated with advanced gum . Amixicile is already in development for treatment and prevention of antibiotic-associated colitis caused by Clostridium difficile, dangerous bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections.

The researchers say amixicile may have another important benefit, too. Because amixicile works differently than other antibiotics, it is thought that it would be extremely difficult for bacteria to find a way to become resistant to it. That means it could be used widely without contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

“In the fight against antibiotic resistance, it is rare to find an antibiotic that breaks the rules – opening up the possibility for treating patients for life, just like statins [drugs used to lower cholesterol],” said researcher Paul Hoffman of UVA’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health. “Why is this important? Medical researchers know that inflammation caused by chronic anaerobic infections like  contributes to the onset of autoimmune disease – rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and even Alzheimer’s disease. Think about it: Like taking a daily-dose aspirin for prevention of heart disease, taking a pill a day for prevention of inflammation might just lower risks for these other diseases.”

Benefits for Gum Disease

While amixicile could have many applications, it appears to have several benefits specific to periodontal disease. The VCU researchers, working in the laboratory, found that amixicile was highly effective at inhibiting the growth of six different species of harmful Treponema spirochetes associated with gum disease. In addition, the drug was found to reduce expression of virulence traits that allow the bacteria to penetrate tissue and promote inflammation, key steps in establishing gum infections.

Research also suggests that amixicile will accumulate in inflamed gum areas where the pathogens are most concentrated, a feature which might spare beneficial bacteria in surrounding healthy gum tissue.

“We were very excited by the outcome of this study,” Marconi said. “The oral treponema associated with periodontal disease are a diverse group of bacteria. The ability of amixicile to effectively target these bacteria is a significant step forward that will provide a new and targeted treatment approach for periodontal disease. The need for antimicrobials that can specifically target specific groups of bacteria is of paramount importance.”

Preventing Antibiotic Resistance

The researchers note that their tests looked at only a subset of the factors that contribute to . More research, they say, will need to be done. But they are encouraged by their early results.

In a scientific paper outlining their findings, the researchers note that moving away from antibiotics that kill  indiscriminately to antibiotics that work more selectively would be an “important step forward” in the battle against the growing problem of . Despite increasing concerns about “superbugs” that no longer respond to existing antibiotics, there are few new antibiotics in the pipeline.

“Unbridled imagination and creativity have worked so well in advancing knowledge in so many medical disciplines – why not for antibiotics?” Hoffman asked. “The three big challenges to this end are, one, overcoming drug resistance; two, chemistries that limit drug metabolism and toxicity in humans and animals; and three, antibiotics that mitigate damage to the human microbiome. Maybe amixicile can teach us something useful about how to create the next generation of .”

The researchers have published their results in the Journal of Periodontology.

CreditsUniversity of Virginia

Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?

While celebrities and models may sport pearly white teeth, the smiles of most people are a tad duller. But this shouldn’t be too surprising. Many things can affect the color of your teeth and turn them that dreaded yellow hue, which may make some people feel self-conscious about their appearance and hesitant to smile.

An abnormal tooth color is considered any color other than white or yellowish white, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Most causes of tooth discoloration fall into two main categories: extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Yellowing can also be caused by a wide array of health factors, from medication use to inadequate brushing.

Extrinsic stains

Extrinsic stains affect the surface of the enamel, which is the hard, outermost layer of teeth. Although tooth enamel can be easily stained, these stains can typically be removed or corrected.
“The No. 1 cause of teeth yellowing is lifestyle,” said Dr. Justin Philipp of J. Philipp Dentistry in Chandler, Arizona. “Smoking, drinking coffees and teas, and chewing tobacco are the worst offenders.”

The tar and nicotine in tobacco are chemicals that can cause yellowish stains on the surface of teeth, in people who smoke or chew.

As a rule of thumb, any food or drink that can stain clothes can also stain your teeth. So, that’s why dark-colored foods and beverages, including red wine, colas, chocolate and dark sauces — such as soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, spaghetti sauce and curries — can discolor teeth. In addition, some fruits and vegetables — such as grapes, blueberries, cherries, beets and pomegranates — have the potential to stain teeth. These items are high in chromogens, pigment-producing substances that can stick to tooth enamel. Popsicles and candies are other foods likely to stain teeth.

Acidic foods and beverages can promote staining by eroding tooth enamel and making it easier for pigments to latch onto the teeth. Tannin, a bitter compound found in wine and tea, also helps chromogens attach to tooth enamel, which ultimately causes staining. But there’s good news for tea drinkers: A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that adding milk to tea reduces its chances of staining teeth because the proteins in milk can bind to tannin.

Liquid forms of iron supplements can stain teeth, but there are several ways to prevent or remove these stains, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Not caring for teeth enough, such as inadequate brushing and flossing, and not going for regular dental cleanings can prevent the removal of stain-producing substances and lead to a buildup of plaque on teeth, resulting in discoloration.

Intrinsic stains

Intrinsic stains occur within the inner structure of the tooth, called the dentin, making these stains more difficult to remove.
Numerous medications can cause intrinsic stains on teeth. If children take the antibiotics tetracycline or doxycycline while their teeth are still developing (before the age of 8), their teeth may turn brownish-yellow. Women who take tetracycline after the fourth month of pregnancy or while breast-feeding, can cause a child to have discolored baby teeth, according to the Mayo Clinic.

During adulthood, using prescription-strength mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, a compound that can reduce bacteria and treat gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), can cause brown discolorations on teeth. In addition, the acne-fighting drug minocycline, a derivative of tetracycline, stains teeth.

Undergoing chemotherapy treatments as well as radiation to the head and neck can result in intrinsic stains. Even some relatively common drugs, such as antihistamines, antipsychotics and blood pressure medications can sometimes yellow teeth.

Although fluoride can be beneficial for teeth by strengthening the enamel and preventing decay, getting too much of the mineral is not good for your teeth color. Fluorosis, which results from excessive amounts of fluoride, may cause faint white streaks or brown spots on teeth. It is a problem mostly in areas where the drinking water contains high levels of naturally occurring fluoride, such as areas where people get their water from wells, according to Philipp. It’s also possible to get too much fluoride from taking supplements or regularly using rinses and toothpastes with the mineral in it.

Prevention & treatment

The best prevention for yellow teeth is paying attention to what you eat and drink, and not smoking. You should also practice good dental hygiene and visit a dental professional at least twice a year.
The most easily repaired cause of yellowing teeth is poor oral hygiene: That’s because when plaque (a film of bacteria that forms on teeth) and tarter (hardened dental plaque) build up, they can make teeth appear yellow. Removing that buildup before decay sets in is critical to having a whiter smile and healthy teeth.

It’s best to have your teeth cleaned regularly by a professional. This will help remove staining. Also, drinking through a straw will minimize the time that fluids stay on the surfaces of teeth. You can also rinse your mouth out with water after consuming foods or drinks that may stain, if brushing afterwards is not possible.

Call our office to make an appointment for a teeth-whitening, and get your beautiful bright smile back.

Credits: Live Science

What causes teeth to turn black?

What causes black teeth?

Teeth turn black from either extrinsic or intrinsic causes.

Teeth owe their color to the high amount of calcium found in the outer layer of the teeth, known as the enamel.

Over time, additional elements left behind by foods and drinks can start to make teeth yellow or gray. If the teeth turn black, however, a person should visit a dentist as soon as possible.

Extrinsic causes

Woman with black teeth <br>Image credit: Calvin Smith, 2009</br>

Black teeth may be caused by tartar buildup and stains.
Image credit: Calvin Smith, 2009

Extrinsic causes of the teeth turning black come from the outside of the tooth.

These can include:

  • damage to the enamel
  • stains
  • tartar buildup

Some direct causes of staining include:

  • frequently eating or drinking a dark food product, such as coffee
  • taking certain medications, such as liquid iron supplements
  • using certain mouth rinses and toothpastes
  • using tobacco
  • having crowns and fillings made with silver sulfide

Intrinsic causes

The tooth may appear black when damaged from the inside. The most common culprits of black teeth in these cases are decay or cavities. For example, a pulp infection or dead tooth may turn a tooth black.

The damage starts on the inside and works its way to the surface. The black color of the tooth may first appear in spots and eventually cover the entire tooth if left untreated.

If you notice any of the symptoms come in for a visit and we will examine the teeth, diagnose the underlying cause and will then determine the right treatment.

credits: 

St. Patrick’s Day Party with a Smile

Have a Happy and Safe St. Patrick’s Day, and avoid  the common holiday expense of an emergency dental visit.

St. Patrick’s Day is notorious for 2 things: green beer and corned beef and cabbage. With alcohol playing such a large role in this annual celebration, it stands to reason that the negative effects of drinking will also join the party. When you get a little tipsy, it’s not just your eyesight and reaction time that suffer.

1.Bad Habits — After you’ve knocked a few back, it’s easy to forget to brush and floss before bed. By forgoing your nighttime dental routine, you let all that sugar and bacteria sit on your teeth overnight.

2.Weight Gain — High amounts of sugar in alcohol is obviously bad for your teeth, but it is also bad for your waistline, which can indirectly affect your mouth. Studies have shown that gum disease may progress more quickly in the presence of higher body fat.

3.Poor Sleep — Although you may fall asleep faster after a few drinks, your sleep patterns are interrupted, and you don’t sleep as well. A Japanese study has linked lack of sleep with more rapid progression of periodontal disease.

4.Chewing Ice — While this may provide a few moments of refreshment between rounds, it can cause severe tooth and gum injuries followed by a painful, expensive visit to your dentist. If ice chewing ever becomes a craving, talk to your dentist right away, because it could signify iron deficiency anemia.

A harmless night out can leave you with a mouthful of bacteria and a lowered ability to protect your teeth.

So grab a toothbrush before you wrap up the celebration and dream of  all the happiness and luck that life can hold – and at the end of your rainbows may you find a pot of gold.

Should You Be Brushing Your Tongue?

Your mouth is a source of lots of bacteria. Some of the bacteria in your mouth actually protects your teeth and gums. Other kinds of bacteria are not so helpful and can be the cause of bad breath and even tooth and gum disease. Not only can allowing bad bacteria to flourish in your mouth cause larger issues with your gut health and gut dysbiosis, it can lead to gum disease, bleeding gums, dental caries, etc. If you are experiencing any of these issues you need to address them for the sake of your entire microbiome.

Caring for your teeth and gums goes beyond merely brushing and it is far more important than just having a nice smile. We all know by know how important the gut health is to our health, our overall wellness, and our ability to ward of illness and disease. Gut health stems from happy, balanced gut flora (intestinal bacteria). Dozens and dozens of books are now available on caring for our gut microbiome and rightfully so…your gut health is pivotal to many processes in our body. Ironically though, your oral microbiome gets far less attention even though it is the beginning of the digestive system and the first line of defense against harmful microbes.

For starters, you need to address your diet by eating more prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the mouth and intestines.You also need to add probiotic fermented foods and an oral probiotic. Secondly you need to avoid food and drink that harm beneficial bacteria…ie sugar, soda, alcohol, and mouthwash.

Lastly you need to address the bad bacteria in your mouth with good oral care. Think about all the crevices and pockets where bad bacteria can hide and thrive. Brushing and flossing are essential for healthy gums and teeth.

But what about another place that bad bacteria can be lurking? Your tongue!

Entire communities of microbes live on the tongue and they can be causing foul smelling breath but also issues with poor digestion, a sluggish liver, and bad bacteria and yeast (candida) overgrowth. This is why you should be brushing or scraping your tongue a couple times a day to remove bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. You do not want those toxins to lay on the tongue and be absorbed into the body.

So, yes if you don’t already, go ahead and include it in your daily routine and have a minty fresh breath all day long.

Credits: Nature Moms / Apple News

 

No more toothbrush! Here comes the smartbrush.

Smartrush is the fastest patented Oral Hygiene Device! Brush your teeth in just 3 seconds! it works with iPhone / Android. For Adults and kids. And it comes in a Smart mouthpiece that is claimed to reinvent the toothbrush, enables 3-second teeth cleaning.

The science fiction-like device is a mouthpiece boasting a large number of tiny brushes, alongside a micropump system which distributes toothpaste. Put it into your mouth and the idea is that it cleans every tooth simultaneously, saving you the indignity of having to move a toothbrush around your mouth to polish your pearly whites one at a time. You can even control the brush speed from your smartphone, via a connected app.

“In our opinion, in the toothbrush industry there has been no real innovation for decades,” inventor Nicola Nichele told Digital Trends. “If you think of electric toothbrushes, for example, you can easily realize that these are only slightly changed from time to time with different types of bristles or slightly different shapes, but there has never been real innovation in terms of time and advantages. We believe that in many areas there are big improvements we can make to make people’s lives easier. We hope this will be only the first of many innovative projects that will help all people to change their habits for the better.”

Once you’ve brushed your teeth with the Unico smartbrush, simply put it back into its dock and it will be automatically rid of bacteria using the cleaning powers of ultraviolet light. Fully recharged and restored, it will be ready for your next three-second clean. Or so it claims.

The concept looks all kinds of intriguing, but it may be worth waiting to see whether this one lives up to the hype before parting with your hard-earned cash. It is currently hoovering up funds on Kickstarter, however, where it has raised close to $960,000.

Clearly there is tremendous interest in the toothbrush evolution, but until there is proof that it can do the job better than our current trusted one, Let’s just keep on brushing ;))

 

Gum disease places older women at a heightened risk of cancer

New research has confirmed that periodontal disease is tied to an elevated risk of several types of cancer, such as esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and gallbladder cancer, especially in mature women.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is also known as “periodontitis” and it is caused by infection and inflammation of the gums. It affects many adults and it is particularly common among seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gum disease affects over 70 percent of people aged 65 and above in the United States.

Although the CDC note that this disease affects more men than women, a significant proportion (38.4 percent) of the adult female U.S. population live with periodontitis.

Recent research has shown that women with gum disease are also more likely to develop breast cancer. However, until now, no studies had looked at the impact of periodontitis on cancer risk more generally.

Jean Wactawski-Wende, Ph.D., from the State University of New York at Buffalo – in collaboration with colleagues from other U.S. institutions – has, for the first time, investigated the association between gum disease and several types of cancer in women.

The study confirmed previous findings, but it also revealed previously undetected connections, such as the link between gum disease and gallbladder cancer. The findings are published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Periodontitis increases overall cancer risk

To understand the correlation between periodontal disease and the risk of cancer in women, the researchers worked with a cohort of 65,869 female participants from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. The women were aged between 54 and 86, and most of them were white, non-Hispanic.

The participants reported their gum disease diagnoses through questionnaires between 1999 and 2003, and they were monitored for cancer detection up until September 2013.

On average, the follow-up period for each participant was of 8.32 years. At the end of this period, 7,149 women had been diagnosed with a form of cancer.

The researchers found that women who had reported a diagnosis of periodontal disease had a 14 percent higher risk of developing any type of cancer.

Esophageal cancer was the type most frequently associated with gum disease, as women with periodontitis were more than three times likelier to develop it compared with women without oral health problems.

“The esophagus is in close proximity to the oral cavity, and so periodontal pathogens may more easily gain access to and infect the esophageal mucosa and promote cancer risk at that site,” explains Dr. Wactawski-Wende.

Other types of cancer that exhibited a significant association with gum disease were lung cancer, gallbladder cancer, melanoma, or skin cancer, and breast cancer.

 

Credits

Grapes May Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Grapes are the new wonder berries that are being praised for their powerful antioxidants called flavonoids. These help in fighting free radicals in the body and reduce the incidence of inflammation that can be a cause of many chronic ailments. They are also rich sources of vitamin A and vitamin C in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. Regular consumption of grapes has been known to be helpful in treating constipation, indigestion and kidney disorders and now; a new study indicates that they may also prevent tooth decay. A group of Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry have found a natural compound in grapes that can strengthen your teeth and also boost the strength of fillings.

The team suggests that grape seed extract may help reduce the incidence of tooth extractions by increasing the longevity of resin fillings or tooth-coloured fillings that typically last for only five to seven years. Grape seed extract is derived as a by-product of wine making and has been credited for health benefits like improved heart function and better blood circulation. The results of this new study, published in the journal of Dental Research, show that the grape seed extract can toughen dentin which is a type of tissue that makes up the bulk of the tooth and it lies beneath the hard external enamel. Therefore, when any damage is caused to your teeth, the remaining structure is retained with the help of fillings and grape seed extracts can make the bond with the materials used stronger.

A lot of people opt for resin fillings as they are look better, but a big problem with them is that they may not be as tough as amalgam fillings that can last up to 10 to 15 years or more. Researchers suggest that this problem can be fixed by using grape seed extract. When tooth decay occurs, the fillings start to deteriorate and the seal is lost.  In this case, the resin bond to the dentin can be strengthened with the help of grape seed extract and that may also help in preventing further tooth decay.

The researchers explain that one of the main causes of tooth decay is the production of acid from plaque which builds up on your teeth. If plaque is not cleared frequently, the acid it releases can begin to damage the surface of your tooth causing holes that are commonly known as cavities. The cavity begins to eat away at the second level of tooth material that lies beneath the enamel which is the dentin and that can impact the fillings too. According to the, interlocking the resin and the dentin provides better adhesion and reduces the chances of tooth decay.

National Men’s Health Month and Dental Health

Our patient’s healthy and beautiful smile is top priority during any visit with Dr. Kathi Mansell. Dr. Mansell encouraging men to pay close attention to their oral health, especially During National Men’s Health Month.

Men’s Health Month is a national health education program created to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage the detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

Oral health in men has been linked to many other health factors from heart disease to reproductive health issues and cancer. The American Academy of Periodontology has found that gum disease is higher in men (56.4 percent) than in women (38.4 percent).

Gum disease and heart disease are linked, and research shows gum disease increases risk of heart disease.

Men are also two times more likely to get oral cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. This has been attributed to higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use by men.

Research has found that men with a history of gum disease are 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums.

All the while, oral cancer is on the rise. A report by FAIR Health, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare data, reports that health insurance claims for oral cancer jumped 61 percent from 2011 to 2015, with three times more men than women reporting having oral cancer.

Our dental team is dedicated to providing personalized and gentle care for you.

 

Bright Summer Smile with Professional Teeth Whitening

The hot summer months are here, and this time of year brings big events like graduations, weddings, vacations and family get-togethers. But with plenty of fun outdoor opportunities, there has never been a better time to consider teeth whitening for summer. Whether it’s a pool party or high school reunion, presenting your radiant smile is sure to impress.

From an office procedure to a purchasable toothpaste, you have options available to you.

Professional Bleaching Procedures

First, you need to determine if you qualify for whitening treatment, and which type is best for you. Do you have porcelain work or discolored front teeth? Is there currently decay on your front teeth? If any of these issues apply to you, consult with Dr. Mansell before pursuing a whitening application.

Professional whitening treatments vary. Some require dental impressions so the office can deliver trays that you can use to apply whitening gel in the comfort of your own home. Other systems use laser or ultraviolet light during in-office procedures to activate the whitening solution to your teeth applied in our office. Because these types of whitening can take a few dental appointments to complete, summer is a great time to schedule these treatments before the kids go back to school and calendar gets busier.

As always, Dr. Mansell will help you choose which treatment is best for you, after considering all options for in-office tooth whitening.

Call us today (480) 757-0007, and have a bright Summer Smile 🙂

Getting reinfected from your toothbrush?

Your toothbrush is loaded with more germs than you care to think about. After all, its No. 1 job is digging out leftover food and bacteria from the corners of your mouth, which a 2014 study published in the Scientific World Journal estimated houses more than 700 bacterial species.

“People grow all sorts of crazy things on their toothbrush,”by a dentist, who wasn’t involved in the research, told Fox News. That can be harmful if bacteria from a cold virus, for instance, harbors on your toothbrush and you end up getting reinfected.

Here’s how often you should change your toothbrush

Your best defense: Replacing your toothbrush often. The American Dental Association says the magic number is every three to four months.

That’s not only because of bacteria, though. “Everyone sees the toothbrush as a safe, wonderful, efficacious thing whereas dentists kind of look at it the opposite,” Burhenne said. Patients can do damage by over-brushing and by using old toothbrushes where the soft dome-shaped bristles have become sharp.

Burhenne tells patients who are prone to over-brushing to swap out their toothbrush every month. The same goes for electric toothbrush heads. “The toothbrush is moving at 30,000 cycles per minute and the human hand cannot make that motion, so I would say go to Costco, buy a 12-pack, and replace it every month,” Burhenne said. “The toothbrush head, because of that motion, wears down quicker.”

To keep bacteria at bay before the three or four-month mark hits, store your toothbrush upright in a glass to allow it to air dry. You can also swish it in 100 percent white vinegar, which the researchers from the 2014 study found effectively (and cheaply) wipes out bacteria.

Training to become a scuba diver this summer? Start at Dr. Mansell

Scuba divers may want to stop by their dentist’s office before taking their next plunge. A new pilot study found that 41 percent of divers experienced dental symptoms in the water, according to new research from the University at Buffalo.

Due to the constant jaw clenching and fluctuations in the atmospheric pressure underwater, divers may experience symptoms that range from tooth, jaw and gum pain to loosened crowns and broken dental fillings.

Recreational divers should consider consulting with their dentist before diving if they recently received dental care, says Vinisha Ranna, BDS, lead author and a student in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

“Divers are required to meet a standard of medical fitness before certification, but there are no dental health prerequisites,” says Ranna, who is also a certified stress and rescue scuba diver.

“Considering the air supply regulator is held in the mouth, any disorder in the oral cavity can potentially increase the diver’s risk of injury. A dentist can look and see if diving is affecting a patient’s oral health.”

The study, “Prevalence of dental problems in recreational SCUBA divers,” was published last month in the British Dental Journal.

The research was inspired by Ranna’s first experience with scuba diving in 2013. Although she enjoyed being in the water, she couldn’t help but notice a squeezing sensation in her teeth, a condition known as barodontalgia.

Published research on dental symptoms experienced while scuba diving is scarce or focuses largely on military divers, says Ranna, so she crafted her own study. She created an online survey that was distributed to 100 certified recreational divers. Those who were under 18-years-old, ill or taking decongestant medication were excluded.

Her goal was to identify the dental symptoms that divers experience and detect trends in how or when they occur.

Of the 41 participants who reported dental symptoms, 42 percent experienced barodontalgia, 24 percent described pain from holding the air regulator in their mouths too tightly and 22 percent reported jaw pain.

Another five percent noted that their crowns were loosened during their dive, and one person reported a broken dental filling.

“The potential for damage is high during scuba diving,” says Ranna, who has completed 60 dives.

“The dry air and awkward position of the jaw while clenching down on the regulator is an interesting mix. An unhealthy tooth underwater would be much more obvious than on the surface. One hundred feet underwater is the last place you want to be with a fractured tooth.”

The study also found that pain was most commonly reported in the molars and that dive instructors, who require the highest level of certification, experienced dental symptoms most frequently. This frequency is likely attributed to more time spent at shallower depths where the pressure fluctuations are the greatest, says Ranna.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors has issued more than 24 million certifications around the world. As scuba diving gains popularity as a recreational sport, Ranna hopes to see oral health incorporated into the overall health assessments for certification.

Patients should ensure that dental decay and restorations are addressed before a dive, and mouthpiece design should be evaluated by manufacturers to prevent jaw discomfort, particularly when investigating symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder in divers, says Ranna.

Additional investigators on the study include Hans Malmstrom, DDS, professor; Sangeeta Gajendra, DDS, associate professor; Changyong Feng, PhD, associate professor; and Michael Yunker, DDS, assistant professor, all of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Ranna is conducting a follow-up study with an expanded group of more than 1,000 participants.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

E-cigarettes ‘just as harmful as tobacco’ for oral health

Electronic cigarettes are often marketed as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. When it comes to oral health, however, new research suggests vaping may be just as harmful as smoking.
Researchers suggest vaping may be equally – if not more – harmful for oral health than smoking.

In a study published in the journal Oncotarget, researchers found that the chemicals present in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) vapor were equally as damaging – in some cases, more damaging – to mouth cells as tobacco smoke.

Such damage can lead to an array of oral health problems, including gum disease, tooth loss, and mouth cancer.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices containing a heating device and a cartridge that holds a liquid solution. The heating device vaporizes the liquid – usually when the user “puffs” on the device – and the resulting vapor is inhaled.

While e-cigarette liquids do not contain tobacco – a highly harmful component of conventional cigarettes – they do contain nicotine and other chemicals, including flavoring agents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the use of e-cigarettes has increased in recent years, particularly among young people. In 2015, 16 percent of high-school students reported using the devices, compared with just 1.5 percent in 2011.

E-cigarettes are considered by many to be safer than conventional smoking, but because the devices are relatively new to the market, little is known about the long-term effects of vaping on health.

In particular, study leader Irfan Rahman, Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, and colleagues note that there has been limited data on how e-cigarette vapor affects oral health.

Flavored vapor worsens damage to gum tissue cells

To address this gap in research, the team exposed the gum tissue of nonsmokers to either tobacco- or menthol-flavored e-cigarette vapor.

The tobacco-flavored vapor contained 16 milligrams of nicotine, while the menthol flavor contained 13-16 milligrams of nicotine or no nicotine.

The researchers found that all e-cigarette vapor caused damage to gum tissue cells comparable to that caused by exposure to tobacco smoke.

“We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases.”

Irfan Rahman, Ph.D.

The researchers note that nicotine is a known contributor to gum disease, but e-cigarette flavoring appeared to exacerbate the cell damage caused by e-cigarette vapor, with menthol-flavored vapor posing the most harm.

While further research is needed to investigate the long-term effects of e-cigarette use, Rahman and team believe their findings indicate that the devices may have negative implications for oral health.

“Overall, our data suggest the pathogenic role of [e-cigarette] aerosol to cells and tissues of the oral cavity, leading to compromised periodontal health,” they conclude.

E-cigarette vapor damaged, killed 53 percent of mouth cells in 3 days

Another study recently published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology builds on the findings from Rahman and colleagues, after finding a high rate of mouth cell death with exposure to e-cigarette vapor over just a few days.

To reach their findings, Dr. Mahmoud Rouabhia, of the Faculty of Dental Medicine at Université Laval in Canada, and colleagues placed epithelial cells from the mouth in a chamber that contained a liquid similar to saliva.

To simulate vaping, the researchers pumped e-cigarette vapor into the chamber at a rate of two 5-second puffs every 60 seconds for 15 minutes a day. This was performed over 1, 2, or 3 days.

On analyzing the vapor-exposed epithelial cells under a microscope, the researchers identified a significant increase in the rate of cell damage and death.

The rate of damage or death in unexposed cells is around 2 percent, the researchers note. However, they found that with exposure to e-cigarette vapor, the number of dead or dying cells rose to 18 percent, 40 percent, and 53 percent over 1, 2, and 3 days, respectively.

While the cumulative effects of the cell damage caused by e-cigarette are unclear, the researchers believe their findings are a cause for concern.

“Damage to the defensive barrier in the mouth can increase the risk of infection, inflammation, and gum disease. Over the longer term, it may also increase the risk of cancer. This is what we will be investigating in the future.”

Dr. Mahmoud Rouabhia

Is it the future or overkill? What do you think?

The market of the issue of dental hygiene is one of many in which parents often feel that society demands they uphold the program or risk being accused of negligence. Parents have to make sure their kids’ teeth get brushed. This may be one of those attempts to get kids (and some adults) interested beyond the dentist’s advice. What do think?

 

 

Confident, Smiling People Live…

… well, differently. While some people just have that “it factor.” You can certainly create you own “it factor” with a dazzling bright healthy smile.

Confident people command attention whenever they walk into a room. But the truth is, they weren’t born with a confident gene. Instead, their daily behaviors contribute to their self-assured personality.

That’s good news: It means anyone can adopt the habits confident people practice on a regular basis. Below are just some of the ways those with extra self-possession approach life differently than everyone else.

1. They’re more productive.

Confidence = hustle. Research suggests that confident people may be more productive because their can-do thoughts inspire real action. It’s no wonder confident people seem to own the office.

2. Their body language helps boost their confidence.

Studies show that how a person carries him or herself influences how he or she feels on the inside. A tall posture and even stretching can help people feel a surge of power — and confident people take advantage of those little adjustments.

3. They aren’t self-assured all the time.

All people have their flaws, even people with the “it factor.” The difference lies in recognizing those insecurities and carrying on with life despite them. Research shows self-acceptance is paramount to a happier life, but it’s a habit many people rarely practice. Confident people aren’t superhuman — they just accept their imperfections wholeheartedly and live a happy life regardless.

4. They actively pursue success.

“No” is simply not in a confident person’s vocabulary, at least when it comes to success. Confidence is crucial when pursuing a career, according to a study published in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology. The research found that more likely someone is able to picture themselves achieving their goal, the more likely they’re going to be able to do it, Fast Company reported.

5. They channel their inner celebrity.

A confident person’s mantra is “I am Beyonce.” OK, maybe that’s just this author’s, but regardless, there’s power in celebrity. Research published in the journal Personal Relationships found that when people wrote down qualities they shared with their favorite celebrities of the same gender, they felt much more compelled to become their best selves.

6. They stick to their convictions.

Confident people place trust in their own opinions — but not without listening to others, of course. As confidence coach Susie Moore explained in a HuffPost blog, confident people hear all sides of an argument, but ultimately, they stick to what they feel is best.

“Other people are well meaning and sometimes err on the side of caution,” she wrote. “Confident people listen to other people but do not let their difference of perspective take them off track.”

7. They don’t fear failure.

All people have their setbacks. Confidence isn’t doing everything right, it’s pushing on even after being wrong. And sometimes that can pay off in more than just confidence: Research suggests that people who appear more self-assured are also seem more intelligent.

8. They’re not afraid of being confident.

Confident individuals don’t shy away from asserting themselves, whether they’re actually feeling comfortable or just faking it until they make it. As singer Demi Lovato’s recent single so poignantly asks, “What’s wrong with being confident?”

The answer: Nothing at all.

I couldn’t agree more with Lindsay Holmes Deputy Healthy Living Editor, The Huffington Post .

Whaaat? The key to happiness is fresh breath?

Bad breath has often been considered one of the top health faux pas and now new research has suggested that doing away with halitosis can dramatically increase your happiness. A new study, published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, looked at the impact of bad breath in relation to people’s quality of life and found that, on average, people who suffered from bad breath were found to be twice as unhappy1 as those who didn’t. By questioning people on specific aspects of their day-to-day lives, the study uncovered those with bad breath had 500% more negative experiences than those with fresh breath. Many of the people who suffered from bad breath said that it negatively impacted them psychologically, in key areas such as self-esteem and confidence.

The strong links between oral health, lifestyle and mental health illustrated by this study has prompted leading charity, the Oral Health Foundation, to encourage people to maintain a good oral health routine and consider the wider health issues associated with poor oral health. Speaking on the issue Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “This research is very interesting as it is looking at the important psychological relationship between oral health and mental well being. “Having a good oral health routine can help to improve a person’s outlook on life, positively impact upon their professional life and potentially even improve their personal relationships. Being rid of bad breath can be an important part of this and is usually relatively easy to achieve.

“Bad breath is a very common problem and there are many different causes, it’s not always down to that cheese and onion sandwich at lunchtime. If someone suffers from persistent bad breath it is usually caused by the smelly gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth, gums and tongue. “Also, bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue can rot and sometimes cause an unpleasant smell. It is relatively easy to get rid of as long as you brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. “Using a mouthwash or sugar free chewing gum can also be an option in ridding bad breath, but if your bad breath is persistent it is important to get it checked out by your dental team as soon as possible as it could be a sign of gum disease or tooth decay.

“Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria that cause halitosis, usually called plaque. One of the warning signs of gum disease is that you always have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, if left untreated this can lead to pain discomfort and even tooth loss. “Your dental team will be able to see and treat the problem during a check-up and the earlier the problems are found, the more effective the treatment will be. “So if you think you might have bad breath, there is a simple test that you can do. Just lick the inside of your wrist, wait for it to dry and sniff – if the smell is bad, you can be fairly sure that your breath is too.

“Or, ask a very good friend to be absolutely honest with you; but do make sure they are a really good friend or you may affect their happiness.”

Credit:
Oral Health Foundation

 

New treatment allows teeth to repair themselves

Dentists have devised a treatment to regenerate rotten teeth that could substantially reduce the need for fillings in the future.

The therapy works by enhancing the natural ability of teeth to repair themselves through the activation of stem cells in the soft pulp at the centre.

Normally, this mechanism is limited to repairing small cracks and holes in dentine, the solid bulk of the tooth beneath the surface enamel. Now scientists have shown that the natural process can be enhanced using an Alzheimer’s drug, allowing the tooth’s own cells to rebuild cavities extending from the surface to the root.

Prof Paul Sharpe, who led the work at King’s College London, said: “Almost everyone on the planet has tooth decay at some time – it’s a massive volume of people being treated. We’ve deliberately tried to make something really simple, really quick and really cheap.”

In the trial, in mice, the team showed that when defects were filled with a biodegradable sponge soaked in the drug, the tooth was gradually able to rebuild itself.

Restoring the tooth’s original dentine structure is preferable because dental cements used in conventional fillings weaken the tooth, leave it prone to future infections – and inevitably erode or detach.

In the case of large cavities, the tooth may eventually need to be extracted after undergoing multiple treatments. The new method, which would encourage natural tooth repair, has the potential to eliminate these issues, according to the scientists.

“The tooth is not just a lump of mineral, it’s got its own physiology. You’re replacing a living tissue with an inert cement,” said Sharpe. “Fillings work fine, but if the tooth can repair itself, surely [that’s] the best way. You’re restoring all the vitality of the tooth.”

The new treatment would not eliminate the need for the dentist’s drill, however, since decaying sections of the tooth would still need to be removed. “Sorry, you’re still going to have the drill, you can’t get away from that, I’m afraid,” said Sharpe.

The therapy relies on a drug called tideglusib, which has been assessed as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment, and which is known to be safe for clinical use.

Previous work by the team has shown that the drug stimulates stem cells in the centre of the tooth, triggering them to develop into odontoblasts (specialised tooth cells) and boosting the production of dentine, allowing larger defects to be reversed. “We get more of the cells, much quicker and they are more active,” said Sharpe.

In the study, published in Scientific Reports, the scientists drilled holes into the teeth of mice, inserted a biodegradable collagen sponge soaked in the drug and sealed the tooth with a dental adhesive.

When the teeth were examined several weeks later, the sponge had degraded and been replaced with new dentine. Collagen sponges are commercially available and clinically-approved. The dental preparation of the tooth would be almost identical to that required for conventional fillings, according to the scientists.

A remaining question is whether the method will scale up successfully to human teeth, in which cavities can be significantly larger. The team are currently testing the technique in rats, whose teeth are about four times larger than those of mice, and if this is successful plan to apply later this year to carry out the first clinical trials in patients.

Ben Scheven, an oral cell biologist at the University of Birmingham, said that preserving the live tooth tissue was increasingly viewed as a priority. “Dentistry is not only about filling and drilling but also about keeping the teeth healthy,” he said. “Especially since it’s an accessible and cheap treatment I can imagine this being used in the clinic.”

Winnie Wong, a dentist based in Hertfordshire, said: “Clinically speaking, the best material is always natural tooth structure, so I’m sure this method will be encouraged by most dentists.”

Wong added that the therapy could “cut down on trauma caused by dentists who are slightly overzealous in their caries removal”. “I think it would be welcomed amongst patients, as no one likes going to the dentist to have fillings and injections, no matter how nice we are!” she said.

Credit:
Science correspondent

Original Article

TMJ pain

Your posture can affect more than just your outward appearance; it can also contribute to TMJ pain. Slouching puts pressure on your jaw joint, which could result in jaw misalignment. Adjusting your posture can help prevent TMJ pain before you experience it.