Archive for the ‘Oral Hygiene’ Category
Obesity Linked to Higher Risk for Gum Disease
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:55 Written by Dental Education Blog Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:55
Gum disease has now been added to the list of potential risk factors for Americans that result from obesity. Also on this list are the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Although the studies are in their earliest stages, scientists are suspecting a link between gum disease and being overweight.
The bodies of obese individuals relentlessly produce what are called cytokines. Cytokines are proteins with inflammatory properties. These proteins may directly injure the gum tissues or reduce blood flow to the gum tissues, thus leading to the promotion of the development of gum disease.
To add fuel to the fire, having gum disease in and of itself produces its own set of cytokines, further increasing the level of these inflammatory proteins in the body’s bloodstream, helping to set off a chain reaction of other inflammatory diseases throughout the body. Nearly half of the US population 30 and older already shows symptoms of gum disease.
“Whether one condition is a risk factor for another or whether one disease directly causes another has yet to be discovered,” said a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the publisher of the article. What the AGD stressed is that it is important to visit the dentist at least twice a year so that they can evaluate your risks for gum disease or other dental issues. While at home it is important to maintain healthy plaque removing habits such as daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
Women’s Hormonal Changes Linked to Gum Disease
Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 11:13 Written by Dental Education Blog Friday, 27 July 2012 11:13
A recent review of women’s health studies has shown a link between women’s health issues and gum disease. Hormonal changes that women naturally go through such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause have been shown to fluctuate women’s hormones so much so that they can change conditions in the mouth and allow bacteria to grow, enter the bloodstream, and intensify certain health issues such as bone loss, fetal death and pre-term birth.
The data from the study reviewed 61 journal articles with nearly 100 studies that helped the scientists determine that women’s hormonal changes do in fact have a relationship to gum disease and the other health issues named above. The message the researchers wanted to get across to women is that they need to be even more vigilant about maintaining good oral health to prevent or lessen the impact of these health-related issues.
Of particular interest in this research are women’s hormones during pregnancy. There is existing research that states that hormones can cause gum problems during pregnancy and women who are attempting to get pregnant or are pregnant need to be extra cautious about the state of their dental health. There was a time when women were discouraged from visiting the dentist while pregnant but this study shows evidence that a dental cleaning and examination before or during pregnancy is now recommended.
Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque on the teeth and under the gums. Left untreated for extended periods of time, it can cause inflammation which can release harmful and toxic byproducts into the bloodstream. These toxins can result in tooth loss, bad breath, bloody gums, bone erosion in addition to the multitude of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and pregnancy problems.
Millions of Americans Regret Not Having Better Oral Health in Earlier Years
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 03:14 Written by Dental Education Blog Tuesday, 19 June 2012 03:14
Research from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons shows that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. Furthermore, by age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth. These numbers show the importance of good oral health and shine the light on the importance of taking care of your teeth at a young age.
America is not alone in these connections between poor oral health and missing teeth; one in five people in the UK wear full or partial dentures and an estimated 2.5 million have no natural teeth. This has presented a strong message to younger citizens in the UK as the older, wiser residents are educating the young on the importance of looking after their teeth. Younger adults in the UK, in the 16-24 age range, are now more image conscious about how their teeth look compared to even that of five years ago.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
The impact of missing teeth goes beyond just aesthetic issues. This means that not only can one’s appearance suffer but so can self-confidence as well as overall health. People with missing teeth often avoid smiling and are embarrassed in social or business situations because of the problems with their teeth. Additional problems can include an off-bite relationship that can result in TMJ disorder, jawbone deterioration, gum disease, and difficulties in eating and chewing anything but mashed or soft foods.
The Best Option for Missing Teeth
More and more patients of all ages are finding that dental implants are the best option for their missing teeth. They do not rest on the gumline like removal dentures; avoid the use of adjacent teeth as in fixed bridges; and prevent the onset of jawbone deterioration that comes with dentures or not replacing teeth at all. Dental implants are long-term replacements that are surgically placed in the jawbone to provide the most natural looking and feeling restoration possible.
Increasing the Protection of your Teeth Against Cavities
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 April 2012 02:30 Written by Dental Education Blog Thursday, 12 April 2012 02:30
New research coming from a Swedish dentist has shown that a toothpaste rich in fluoride can increase your protection against tooth decay 400%. Anna Nordstrom, a PhD researcher and dentist from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has been testing the effects of high-fluoride toothpaste and has shown the toothpaste to quadruple the level of protection for fluoride. The high-fluoride toothpaste was primarily aimed at patients with a particularly high risk for dental caries (cavities).
The study involved volunteers that tested brushing techniques using the high-fluoride toothpaste and standard toothpaste as well as brushing two to three times a day. “The study revealed that those who used high-fluoride toothpaste three times a day had four times better fluoride protection in the mouth than those who used standard toothpaste twice a day,” says researcher Anna Nordström.
Rub When You Can’t Brush?
Also tested in the study was a new method of getting fluoride protection to the teeth that involved rubbing the front of teeth with toothpaste. This method was recommended for people who perhaps wanted to get an extra shot of protection after lunch or when they did not have access to a toothbrush. This is not intended to replace brushing with a toothbrush; it is just an extra way to keep your teeth healthy when you are away from home.
Daily Fluoride Use Encouraged
Fluoride has played a critical role in the prevention of cavities in children and adults and will always be a major factor in preventing tooth decay into the foreseeable future. In a previous blog we discussed how the major shift to bottled water from tap water was correlated with Americans getting less than the adequate amount of fluoride that is safely placed in our water supply. The bottom line is to continue brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and for those more susceptible to caries consider looking into a more fluoride-rich toothpaste.