Find out the latest dental news here; there are constant developments in the world of dentistry, from toothpaste to dangers of gum infections.
I'll be adding news here as it comes along, with links to the authority publishing the news and my personal opinions.
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A recent report in the magazine New Scientist (March 4 2023) links rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups with gum disease. Researcher Dana Orange and her colleagues at Rockefeller University in New York have shown that the antibodies that target the joints in rheumatoid arthritis are the same ones that attack bacteria living on and under the gums.
This strengthens the advice that people should maintain good oral hygiene, to reduce the levels of bacteria in the gums. Immune activity caused by gum disease has also been linked to a number of other medical issues, from Alzheimer's disease to heart attacks.
British orthodontist is in trouble with the U.K. authorities due to his unorthodox treatment records. And, in keeping with modern times, his techniques have been promoted on social media. The General Dental Council of the U.K. is now warning of potential harm to children. Read more at the BBC report HERE.
Here is a great report about brushing and flossing - and why skipping the routine may kill you; BBC News HERE.
The BBC has reported on the new trend of traveling to low-cost countries to get cheap cosmetic dental treatment - but it doesn't always work out in the best way, with many patients reporting problems afterwards. Read the story at the BBC website HERE.
Baby food pouches ‘more sugary than Coca-Cola’, dentists warnMany popular baby food pouches are more sugary than Coca-Cola, dentists have warned, amid an “epidemic” of tooth decay among young children.
A survey by the British Dental Association (BDA) of 109 pouches aimed at children under 12 months old found that more than a quarter contained more sugar by volume than Coca-Cola.
Fruit-based pouches marketed as for infants as young as four months old contained sugar levels the equivalent of up to 150% of the soft drink, according to the findings.Almost 40% of products surveyed were marketed at babies “four months plus” despite both UK and World Health Organisation guidance recommending weaning from six months old.The findings jarred with marketing claims that the products contained only “naturally occurring sugars” or “no added sugar”, or that they were “nutritionally approved” or in line with infants’ “nutritional and developmental needs”, the BDA said.
All products found to be high in sugar adopted so-called “halo” labelling, focusing on their “organic” status or that they were “high in fibre” or contained “one of your five a day”, potentially misleading parents into thinking they were making healthy choices, the report warned.
The BDA singled out “boutique” brands including market leaders Ella’s Kitchen and Annabel Karmel for appearing to have higher levels of sugar than traditional baby food brands or own-brand alternatives.
Manufacturers said high levels of natural or locked-in sugar was inevitable with fruit-based pouches, but some brands managed to offer similar products containing around half the sugar of the worst offenders, the survey found.The BDA also warned that infants often sucked directly from the pouches, for the convenience of caregivers while on the move. This ensured the food spent more time in contact with baby teeth and increased the risk of erosion and decay.The BDA noted a lack of clear messaging from manufacturers advising that infants should not consume the products directly from the pouch, with Annabel Karmel packaging and the brand’s website explicitly stating “eat straight from the pouch”.
The Department of Health and Social Care is expected to consult imminently on the marketing and labelling of infant food. Dentist leaders said the excessive levels of sugar in many infant pouches warranted action, including clearer “traffic light” labelling and potential expansion of the sugar levy to encourage reformulation.
Analysis by Action on Sugar last year of 73 baby and toddler sweet snacks such as rusks, biscuits, oat bars and puffs found that only six products (8%) would be given a green (low) label for sugars.
BDA chairman Eddie Crouch said: “Disingenuous marketeers are giving parents the impression they are making a healthy choice with these pouches. Nothing could be further from the truth.“Claims of ‘no added sugar’ are meaningless when mums and dads end up delivering the lion’s share of a can of Coke to their infants.Tooth decay is the number one reason for hospital admissions among young children, Mr Crouch said.
He added: "These products sadly risk hooking the next generation before they can even walk."A spokeswoman for Annabel Karmel said: “Annabel Karmel’s organic purees are inspired by her much-loved homecooked recipes. They are specially designed for babies and contain 100% fruit with no added salt or sugar. The limited sugar content comes from naturally occurring sugars found in the fruits used.”
An Ella’s Kitchen spokeswoman said: “At Ella’s Kitchen, we take infant nutrition very seriously and, since 2016, building on recommendations from Public Health England, we have been reducing the proportion of higher sugar fruits like bananas in our recipes, as well as introducing lower sugar fruits and 100% vegetable pouches, bringing down sugar on average across the range by 20%.“Any new products aim to be 10% less sugar than the range average as a commitment to ongoing sugar reduction in stage 1 recipes.“We do not advise that little ones consume our purees directly from the pouch, instead recommending that they be consumed from a spoon and eaten as part of a varied diet including lots of homemade foods.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We have challenged businesses to improve the nutritional content of baby food and drink, as our review in 2019 found inconsistencies between national recommendations and the ingredients and nutritional content of these products.”
Source: ITV News
2nd January 2022
According to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research, you are NOT likely to catch Covid-19 while getting dental treatment. Researchers discovered that the aerosols generated by some dental procedures did not contain any virus particles from the saliva of the patient.
According to the report in Science Daily;
"In the study, SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified in the saliva of 19 patients, but was undetectable in aerosols in any of the cases. The findings are reassuring, but also make sense, Kumar said: Irrigant dilutes saliva -- a "thick, viscous" substance -- by an estimated 20- to 200-fold, and the research is validated by a 2020 study that reported a less than 1% COVID-19 positivity rate among dentists."
22nd December 2021
New research found that patients who used drugs prescribed to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers were more likely to have smaller probing depths in the gums (the gap between teeth and gums).
The use of heartburn medication is associated with decreased severity of gum disease, according to a recent University at Buffalo study.
The research found that patients who used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) -- a class of drugs commonly prescribed to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers -- were more likely to have smaller probing depths in the gums (the gap between teeth and gums). When gums are healthy, they fit snugly against the teeth. But when harmful bacteria are present, the gap deepens, leading to inflammation, bone loss and gum disease.The findings, published in Clinical and Experimental Dental Research, may be linked to the side effects of PPIs, which include changes in bone metabolism and in the gut microbiome, says lead investigator Lisa M. Yerke, DDS, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics and Endodontics at the UB School of Dental Medicine.
18th December 2021
At the University of Pennsylvania medical school, research has shown that removing wisdom teeth can improve the sense of taste, even decades later.
"Patients who had their wisdom teeth extracted had improved tasting abilities decades after having the surgery, a new Penn Medicine study published in the journal Chemical Senses found. The findings challenge the notion that removal of wisdom teeth, known as third molars, only has the potential for negative effects on taste, and represent one of the first studies to analyze the long-term effects of extraction on taste."
10th December 2021
A research team at Bristol University in England have discovered that the thickness of growth marks in baby teeth can be looked at like the rings in a tree trunk; this may help identify children at risk for depression and other mental health disorders later in life, according to this ground-breaking investigation.
6th December 2021
The University of Pennsylvania has published a new study that claims "FDA-approved iron oxide nanoparticles, delivered in a mouth rinse, can suppress the growth of dental plaque and kill bacteria responsible for tooth decay. The nanoparticles act as enzymes to activate hydrogen peroxide in a way that precisely targets harmful microbes and spares normal tissue."
12th September 2021
Here's an interesting article about the bacteria that accumulate on your tooth brush bristles. This article tells you about an ultra violet light sanitizer.
10th September 2021
Here is an interesting case from this week. All six upper front teeth had become stained and decayed after several years of substance abuse. Now clean, we wanted to improve things. In the photo below, I have completed treatment on the left hand side of the screen as you look at it, and the other side is about to be treated.
The patient was very pleased!
November 25, 2020
A report in Yahoo News reveals that some TikTok influencers are showing their followers their teeth following preparation by a dentist for "veneers". However they are showing preparations for full crowns, which is a much more aggressive procedure, and rarely recommended in young people just for cosmetics.
Basically, these influencers are misleading their followers, and recommending unnecessary and damaging treatment.
October 4, 2020
According to the American Dental Association website, "Dentists and dental hygienists are essential health care workers who should be afforded early access to a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a vaccine distribution framework released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine during an Oct. 2 webinar."
October 2, 2020
An interesting court case in Ireland ruled that the bread in a Subway heated sandwich contains too much sugar to be classified as bread. A franchisee went to court to argue that bread is a staple food, and should be exempt from Value Added Tax. Under Irish law, bread must contain LESS than 2% sugar by weight. However, the 'bread' used in Subway heated sanwiches contains 10% sugar by weight - 5 times the limit. The court ruled that the 'bread' must be classified as confectionery ('candy'), and so is liable to Value Added Tax in Ireland.
September 8, 2020
OK, it's been a while since the last update. But we have been living through strange times, with advice and laws changing every few days. But here is a factual Yahoo News story about the dental effects of the stresses caused by all aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic;
March 2, 2020
Recent research at Colorado State University gives extra support to the growing body of evidence that you need a healthy mouth in order to have a healthy body. Published in the journal Science Reports, the study found a strong correlation between how often someone visits the dentist and the levels of gum-disease causing bacteria. Those who flossed their teeth regularly had the lowest levels of disease-causing pathogens.
provided by Colorado State University. Original written by Anne Manning.
:Zachary M. Burcham, Nicole L. Garneau, Sarah S. Comstock, Robin M. Tucker, Rob Knight, Jessica L. Metcalf. Patterns of Oral Microbiota Diversity in Adults and Children: A Crowdsourced Population Study. Scientific Reports, 2020; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-59016-0
February 14 2020
It's Valentines Day today, but not everyone is happy. Dentists in the U.K. are running out of face masks due to the huge demand created by the corona virus outbreak. Prices of surgical masks have risen by up to 3 times, according to an article on the BBC website. Here's the link to read the full story at the BBC website.
In the United Kingdom, there has been a big increase in prosecutions for illegal tooth whitening. According to the BBC website, the General Dental Council in the U.K. has reported a 26% increase in reported illegal whitening in 2019.
An undercover investigation discovered that a Beautician School claimed to have provided "thousands" of illegal qualifications to beauticians in the U.K.. Beauticians using teeth-whitening kits have been known to cause tooth loss, burns and blisters.
Read more about this at the BBC website HERE.
Recent research confirms that brushing your tongue after tooth brushing and flossing is better than using a tongue scraper. While neither method of cleaning your tongue helps much in reducing bad-breath-causing VSC's (volatile sulfur compounds), using your tooth brush to clean your tongue reduces the bacteria levels in your mouth.
August 27th 2019
A recent study published in the British Dental Journal looked at elite athletes from 11 sports. It showed that they brushed and flossed their teeth more often than the general public. However they also had higher rates of tooth decay and enamel erosion.
The reason is thought to be the high use of sports drinks, energy bars and energy gels. Another possible reason is that the mouth becomes very dry due to heavy breathing during exercise.
The study recommended that athletes use very high-fluoride toothpastes, fluoride mouthwashes, and more frequent dental visits.
August 25th 2019
According to the New Scientist magazine August 10th 2019, there is continually mounting evidence that the bacteria involved in gum disease may well be connected to SEVERAL other medical conditions.
In January 2019, teams of scientists at 8 (that's eight) universities and also the San Francisco based company Cortexyme found an enzyme called "gingipain" that digests proteins. It is only produced by a bacteria called P. gingivalis.
They found it in 99% of brain samples from people who had did of Alzheimer's Disease. And it was present in proportion to the severity of the disease.
Next, if the scientific teams gave a small sample of the bacteria to mice, the animals developed symptoms of Alheimer's, which went away again if the team used techniques to block the enzyme gingipain.
Also, brains of people who died without signs of Alzheimer's also had some gingipains present, BUT at much lower levels than Alzheimer's sufferers. This fits with the picture that gingipains can accumulate over many years (20+) before symptoms of Alzheimer's appears.
Researchers have also found high levels of P. gingivalis in the fatty deposits that line the arteries and cause blood clots. But what are gum bacteria doing, lining the arteries? It seems they can get everywhere, causing damage over time.
The lesson - don't skip brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dental hygienist!
Added August 25th 2019.
An article in the British Dental Journal says that over-the-counter tooth-whitening products may damage tooth enamel. Five over-the-counter products - available from Boots and Superdrug - were tested to determine whether or not non-hydrogen peroxide products are safe. The lead author of the study said that they discovered damage to the enamel surface, similar to that caused by acids.
A number of the products tested contained sodium chlorite, which combined with other ingredients such as citric acid, will dissolve the surface layer of the enamel.
British Dental Association scientific advisor Professor Damien Walmsley said that, "at best, consumers are wasting their money - and at worst you could be gambling with your teeth."
Read the full story HERE.
Added February 22nd 2019
February 5th 2019
HERE is an interesting new development in tooth brushing. The Y-brush uses a complete U-shaped brush device driven by ultrasonics, to brush your teeth in 10 seconds flat! I have not yet personally tested the device, but it looks very interesting. I have contacted the company, and will keep you up to date with developments! Have a look at their homepage.
Added February 5th 2019
January 26th 2019
Recent research has shown a link between gum disease and the risk of getting Alzheimers. Published in the journal "Science Advances", the research showed that bacteria involved in gum disease was found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
This news has also made the cover story of the prestigious magazine "New Scientist" this month.
According to the BBC in the U.K.;
"Tests on mice confirmed the bacteria could travel from the mouth to the brain and showed the toxic protein they secrete, called gingipain, destroyed brain neurons.
The bacteria also increased production of amyloid beta, a component of the amyloid plaques commonly associated with Alzheimer's."
I think it's important to realize that the term "gum disease" does NOT mean that you have to have red, bleeding gums and wobbly teeth. Sure, these are signs of ADVANCED gum disease, but many people have low-grade (or "chronic") gum disease without realizing it! I recommend tat you visit my page about how to fight gum disease for a full run-down on how to avoid this insideous condition.
Here is the link to the BBC article.
Read my own page about this new connection HERE.
Added January 26 2019
December 20th 2018
According to the BBC here, our ancestors 10,000 years ago had figured out how to drill holes in teeth to relieve the pain of toothache. This coincides with the development of farming, and the increase in carbohydrates in the diet may have contributed to the rise in dental cavities.
Before organised farming became established, dental disease was relatively rare, according to fossil records.
Added December 20 2018