Study: History Of Gum Disease Increases Cancer Risk In Older Women

Postmenopausal women who have a history of gum disease also have a higher risk of cancer, according to a recent study of more than 65,000 women.

The study, led by researchers at the University at Buffalo, is the first national study of its kind involving U.S. women, and the first to focus specifically on older women. It’s also the first study to find an association between periodontal disease and gallbladder cancer risk in women or men. The findings were published Aug. 1, 2017 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

“This study is the first national study focused on women, particularly older women,” said Jean Wactawski-Wende, the study’s senior author, dean of UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions and a professor of epidemiology and environmental health. “Our study was sufficiently large and detailed enough to examine not just overall risk of cancer among older women with periodontal disease, but also to provide useful information on a number of cancer-specific sites.”

Periodontal Disease Link

The study included 65,869 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, an ongoing national prospective study designed to investigate factors affecting disease and death risk in older American women. The average age of the participants was 68, and most were non-Hispanic white women.

As part of a follow-up health questionnaire, participants were asked “Has a dentist or dental hygienist ever told you that you had periodontal or gum disease?”

Women who reported a history of gum disease had a 14 percent increased risk of overall cancer. Of the 7,149 cancers that occurred in the study participants, the majority – or 2,416 – were breast cancer.

“There is increasing evidence that periodontal disease may be linked to an increased cancer risk and this association warrants further investigation,” said the paper’s first author, Ngozi Nwizu, who worked on the research while completing her residency in oral and maxillofacial pathology in UB’s School of Dental Medicine and her doctorate in pathology (cancer epidemiology) at UB’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute Graduate Division. Nwizu is now an assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

The risk associated with periodontal disease was highest for esophageal cancer, the researchers reported. “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,” Wactawski-Wende said.

Gallbladder cancer risk also was high in women who reported a history of gum disease. “Chronic inflammation has also been implicated in gallbladder cancer, but there has been no data on the association between periodontal disease and gallbladder risk. Ours is the first study to report on such an association,” Nwizu said.

The esophageal and gallbladder cancer findings are significant, Nwizu said. “Esophageal cancer ranks among the most deadly cancers and its etiology is not well known, but chronic inflammation has been implicated,” she said.

“Certain periodontal bacteria have been shown to promote inflammation even in tiny amounts, and these bacteria have been isolated from many organ systems and some cancers including esophageal cancers. It is important to establish if periodontal disease is an important risk of esophageal cancer, so that appropriate preventive measures can be promoted.”

Periodontal disease also was associated with total cancer risk among former and current smokers. The findings for this particular age group are significant because they offer a window into disease in a population of Americans that continues to increase as people live longer lives.

“The elderly are more disproportionately affected by periodontal disease than other age groups, and for most types of cancers, the process of carcinogenesis usually occurs over many years,” said Nwizu. “So the adverse effects of periodontal disease are more likely to be seen among postmenopausal women, simply because of their older age.”

New Dental Imaging Method Uses Squid Ink To Fish For Gum Disease

Squid ink might be a great ingredient to make black pasta, but it could also one day make getting checked for gum disease at the dentist less tedious and even painless. By combining squid ink with light and ultrasound, a team led by engineers at the University of California San Diego has developed a new dental imaging method to examine a patient’s gums that is non-invasive, more comprehensive and more accurate than the state of the art.

“The last time I was at the dentist, I realized that the tools that are currently being used to image teeth and gums could use significant updating,” said Jesse Jokerst, a nanoengineering professor at UC San Diego and senior author of the study.

Pocket Depth Measuring

The conventional method for dentists to assess gum health is to use an instrument called a periodontal probe – a thin, hook-like metal tool that’s marked like a tiny measuring stick and inserted in between the teeth and gums to see whether and how much the gums have shrunk back from the teeth, creating pockets. This method of measuring pocket depth is the gold standard used in dentistry. A pocket depth measuring one to two millimeters indicates healthy gums while three millimeters and deeper is a sign of gum disease. The deeper the pockets, the more severe the gum disease.

However, procedures using the periodontal probe are invasive, uncomfortable and sometimes painful for the patient. Measurements can also vary greatly between dentists, and the probe is only capable of measuring the pocket depth of one spot at a time.

In a paper published on Sept. 7, 2017 in the Journal of Dental Research, Jokerst and his team at UC San Diego introduced an innovative method that can image the entire pocket depth around the teeth consistently and accurately, without requiring any painful poking and prodding.

“Using the periodontal probe is like examining a dark room with just a flashlight and you can only see one area at a time. With our method, it’s like flipping on all the light switches so you can see the entire room all at once,” Jokerst said.

Ultrasound Detection

The method begins by rinsing the mouth with a paste made of commercially available food-grade squid ink mixed with water and cornstarch. The squid-ink-based rinse serves as a contrast agent for an imaging technique called photoacoustic ultrasound. This involves shining a light signal – usually a short laser pulse – onto a sample, which heats up and expands, generating an acoustic signal that researchers can analyze. “Light in, sound out,” Jokerst said.

Squid ink naturally contains melanin nanoparticles, which absorb light. During the oral rinse, the melanin nanoparticles get trapped in the pockets between the teeth and gums. When researchers shine a laser light onto the area, the squid ink heats up and quickly swells, creating pressure differences in the gum pockets that can be detected using ultrasound. This method enables researchers to create a full map of the pocket depth around each tooth – a significant improvement over the conventional method.

Researchers tested their photoacoustic imaging method in a pig model containing a mix of shallow and deep pockets in the gums. While their results closely matched measurements taken using a periodontal probe, they were also consistent across multiple tests. On the other hand, measurements with the periodontal probe varied significantly from one test to another. “It’s remarkable how reproducible this technique is compared to the gold standard,” Jokerst said.

Moving forward, the team will be collaborating with dentists and testing their method in humans. Future work also includes minimizing the taste of the squid ink oral rinse – it’s salty and somewhat bitter – and replacing laser lights with inexpensive, more portable light systems like LEDs. The team’s ultimate goal is to create a mouthpiece that uses this technology to measure periodontal health.

Easy Treatments For Dry Mouth

A very common issue associated with age, medication and hydration is dry mouth. It can be hard to combat depending on the severity and the factors that contribute to it. For some, taking a sip of water can cure their dry mouth, for others, the reason for their mouth dryness comes from deeper issues. If you are suffering from this common annoyance, here are some easy treatments that you can do at home that are also completely safe and natural.

Increase Water Intake

One of the most prevalent causes of dry mouth is dehydration. When you consume enough water throughout the day, your body will be able to produce the normal amount of healthy fluids, one of which is saliva. Sometimes the standard eight glasses a day isn’t sufficient. Drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces is a more accurate recommendation. You should also eat many different water-based fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

Cayenne Pepper

This may seem counterintuitive to some. After all, wouldn’t spicy foods be the opposite of what you would want to consume if you were having a problem with dry mouth? Wouldn’t that in fact make the state of your mouth drier? Actually no, it’s the exact opposite. Cayenne pepper stimulates the production of saliva, which makes it one of the most effective remedies for dry mouth. It is also said to improve the state of your taste buds which makes it easier to distinguish certain tastes. Try adding a sprinkle to your dishes to promote your saliva glands.

Fennel Seeds

The reason that these specific types of seeds are so effective in helping with dry mouth is because they contain flavonoids that naturally increase the production of saliva in the mouth. So if you are used to munching on sunflower seeds or nuts, this is an easy substitute that will also help to aid your dry mouth. You can munch on them several times a day to help treat the dryness in your mouth. Try roasting them in a pan and add a little bit of salt to taste.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a very popular, ancient practice that has a numerous amount of benefits associated with it. It can help keep your mouth moist, kill bacteria that leads to bad breath and mouth sores, and also help to whiten teeth. There are a few different types of oil that can be used for this practice; most choose from coconut oil, sesame oil or avocado oil. Put a tablespoon of the oil into your mouth and swish it around for 15 to 30 seconds. Spit out the oil and then rinse out your mouth with warm water. This helps to provide your mouth with adequate saliva production.

Aloe Vera

One of the most versatile natural entities is aloe vera. It’s pure gel form can be used in many different ways. Often used for bad sunburns, it can treat the occurrence of dry mouth by enhancing the taste buds – which also protects and activates the sensitive tissue in the mouth. You can drink aloe vera juice, which is found in health food stores, a few times a day.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here

 

An End To Cavities For People With Sensitive Teeth?

An ice cold drink is refreshing in the summer, but for people with sensitive teeth, it can cause a painful jolt in the mouth. This condition can be treated, but many current approaches don’t last long. Now researchers report in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of a new material with an extract from green tea that could fix this problem – and help prevent cavities in these susceptible patients.

Tooth sensitivity commonly occurs when the protective layers of teeth are worn away, revealing a bony tissue called dentin. This tissue contains microscopic hollow tubes that, when exposed, allow hot and cold liquids and food to contact the underlying nerve endings in the teeth, causing pain.

Dentin

Unprotected dentin is also vulnerable to cavity formation. Plugging these tubes with a mineral called nanohydroxyapatite is a long-standing approach to treating sensitivity. But the material doesn’t stand up well to regular brushing, grinding, erosion or acid produced by cavity-causing bacteria. Cui Huang and colleagues wanted to tackle sensitivity and beat the bacteria at the same time.

Green Tea

The researchers encapsulated nanohydroxyapatite and a green tea polyphenol – epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG in silica nanoparticles, which can stand up to acid and wear and tear. EGCG has been shown in previous studies to fight Streptococcus mutans, which forms biofilms that cause cavities.

Testing on extracted wisdom teeth showed that the material plugged the dentin tubules, released EGCG for at least 96 hours, stood up to tooth erosion and brushing and prevented biofilm formation. It also showed low toxicity. Based on these findings, the researchers say the material could indeed be a good candidate for combating tooth sensitivity and cavities.

 

Study: Periodontal Disease Linked To Gallbladder Cancer Risk In Women

Postmenopausal women who have a history of gum disease also have a higher risk of cancer, according to a new study of more than 65,000 women.

The study, led by researchers at the University at Buffalo, is the first national study of its kind involving U.S. women, and the first to focus specifically on older women. It’s also the first study to find an association between periodontal disease and gallbladder cancer risk in women or men. The findings were published August 1st in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

“This study is the first national study focused on women, particularly older women,” said Jean Wactawski-Wende, the study’s senior author.

“Our study was sufficiently large and detailed enough to examine not just overall risk of cancer among older women with periodontal disease, but also to provide useful information on a number of cancer-specific sites,” added Wactawski-Wende, dean of UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions and a professor of epidemiology and environmental health.

Gum Disease Study
The study included 65,869 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, an ongoing national prospective study designed to investigate factors affecting disease and death risk in older American women. The average age of the participants was 68, and most were non-Hispanic white women.

As part of a follow-up health questionnaire, participants were asked, “Has a dentist or dental hygienist ever told you that you had periodontal or gum disease?” Women who reported a history of gum disease had a 14 percent increased risk of overall cancer. Of the 7,149 cancers that occurred in the study participants, the majority – 2,416 – were breast cancer.

“There is increasing evidence that periodontal disease may be linked to an increased cancer risk and this association warrants further investigation,” said the paper’s first author, Ngozi Nwizu, who worked on the research while completing her residency in oral and maxillofacial pathology in UB’s School of Dental Medicine and her doctorate in pathology (cancer epidemiology) at UB’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute Graduate Division. Nwizu is now an assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

The risk associated with periodontal disease was highest for esophageal cancer, the researchers reported. “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,” Wactawski-Wende said.

Gallbladder cancer risk also was high in women who reported a history of gum disease. “Chronic inflammation has also been implicated in gallbladder cancer, but there has been no data on the association between periodontal disease and gallbladder risk. Ours is the first study to report on such an association,” Nwizu said.

The esophageal and gallbladder cancer findings are significant, Nwizu said. “Esophageal cancer ranks among the most deadly cancers and its etiology is not well known, but chronic inflammation has been implicated,” she said.

Periodontal Bacteria

“Certain periodontal bacteria have been shown to promote inflammation even in tiny amounts, and these bacteria have been isolated from many organ systems and some cancers including esophageal cancers,” Nwizu continued. “It is important to establish if periodontal disease is an important risk of esophageal cancer, so that appropriate preventive measures can be promoted.”

Periodontal disease also was associated with total cancer risk among former and current smokers. The findings for this particular age group are significant because they offer a window into disease in a population of Americans that continues to increase as people live longer lives.

“The elderly are more disproportionately affected by periodontal disease than other age groups, and for most types of cancers, the process of carcinogenesis usually occurs over many years,” said Nwizu. “So the adverse effects of periodontal disease are more likely to be seen among postmenopausal women, simply because of their older age.”

 

Why Do Your Gums Bleed When Flossing?

If you are experiencing bleeding gums while you are flossing, there could be a couple of different reasons associated with why. When your gums bleed there is definitely something associated with the health and lining of your gums that you should be concerned with. One of the most common reasons that your gums may bleed when you floss is because you simply aren’t flossing enough or as well as needed. The presence of the blood is likely directly related to the build-up of bacteria around the gum tissue.

Bleeding gums can also be a sign of gingivitis, which is an inflammatory response to lack of proper oral hygiene. The plaque that tends to build around the gum tissue and at the bottom of teeth can often be discarded with adequate brushing yet that doesn’t mean you should skimp on flossing. When you don’t floss as diligently as you should, the plague can cause build-up that gets compacted around your gums. This leads to tartar and can make your gums bleed when flossing. Don’t try to avoid flossing just because you see some blood on your floss strings. Signs of blood actually mean you need to floss more often and more thoroughly to ensure that your teeth are getting the proper cleaning that they require.

Another reason that your gums may be bleeding is due to particles of food that get stuck in various parts of your mouth. Many people don’t realize just how ineffective they are when brushing and flossing. Being lazy with these very important habits will make for a breeding ground for the bacteria that naturally exists in the mouth. This will cause plaque to build and attack tooth tissue. This will also cause gums to potentially become more inflamed. While brushing does a great job of eliminating plaque, the major player is flossing because it’s a more controlled, direct and specific way to clean around the entire tooth.

The tissue of the gums is very sensitive and fits around the tooth much like a collar. This is where plaque and bacteria love to hang out. Typically, further up the tooth shaft, the brush has an easier time cleaning and ridding the tooth of plaque. If you don’t floss on a regular basis, it’s very easy for the gums to not be properly tended to and to begin to bleed when you do floss. If you go too long without flossing, you potentially set your mouth up for a periodontal disease, which is a very serious gum issue that can cause pain and tooth loss if it isn’t properly addressed.

Try using a bacteria-killing mouthwash prior to flossing in order to eliminate the amount of bacteria in your mouth and near your gums. Homemade rinses like a salt water rinse work really well and so does something like an antimicrobial oral rinse. Using coconut or avocado oil to oil pull will also help in this way.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here

 

Treatments For Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the tissues that both support and surround the teeth, otherwise known as gums. This occurs typically when a person has poor oral hygiene. It is actually a fairly common condition that runs the gamut of severity. Many who experience varying degrees of the ailment experience bleeding gums; some experience just a bit of soreness while others may actually have painful, blood-filled blisters on their gums.

Those who smoke or chew tobacco have a higher risk of suffering from this condition and also may have it longer as it won’t heal as rapidly for those who partake in these bad habits. Here are some natural and over-the-counter solutions to this issue.

Green Tea

Due to the natural antioxidants present in green tea, it’s actually very good for oral health. If you are suffering from gingivitis, you may also be suffering from bad breath, which is a common side effect of the issue.  Green tea is also known to reduce the inflammation that is present in the body. This will intrinsically help to lessen the reaction your gums are having. It will soothe them and also help provide them with soothing nutrients.

Hydrogen Peroxide

One of the reasons that gingivitis is so prevalent is due to the amount of bacteria that resides in our mouths at any given time. The mouth is full of bacteria and when that bacteria is not properly balanced or gotten rid of, it can cause a problem for the teeth, gums and tongue. This is why proper hygiene is so undoubtedly essential because without it, we would all have mouths filled with bacteria. You can use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash. Pour a teaspoon into some warm water and rinse your mouth as usual. Ensure you do not swallow the liquid.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be used for a myriad of different purposes. It is one of the most multifaceted products on the market. It’s very inexpensive and virtually harmless. If you are looking for a way to treat your gingivitis, try using baking soda and water to brush your teeth. There are various benefits associated with using baking soda. Some people use it to naturally whiten teeth. It can also naturally help to neutralize the acids that occur in the mouth which help gingivitis flourish.

Oil Pulling

An ancient practice that has many health benefits associated with it, oil pulling helps to reduce the amount of bacteria that exists in the mouth and around the teeth. You can use any type of vegetable oil such as sesame, coconut or avocado oil. Using the oil as a rinse for your mouth will help to eliminate pesky bacteria. Make sure to keep the oil in for at least 15 seconds. Rinse your mouth with warm water after the process to further rid your mouth of the bacteria that causes gingivitis.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here

 

Receding Gums Treatment

In order to fix receding gums, conventional treatment requires surgical measures. Most surgery for receding gums is invasive and uncomfortable, requiring lengthy healing times. In order to surgically treat receding gums, tissue is typically taken from another location and then placed in the area needed in order to repair receding gums. Gum grafting can be a fairly expensive procedure, averaging several hundred dollars for a single tooth. Typically multiple teeth are just a small additional charge.

There are different types of graft surgery used to treat receding gums.

Tissue Grafts
Traditional graft surgery involves tissue taken from the roof of your mouth and then sewn into place (sutured – joining two edges together) where the gum recession has occurred, covering the exposed root surfaces.

Pedicle Grafts
When there is enough excess tissue around the area of gum recession, it may be possible to have a small incision made, creating a flap. This flap is then stretched across the area of the gum recession and sewn (sutured) into place.

Donor Tissue Grafts
Tissue may also be used from a tissue bank. Using donor tissue results in less healing time because there is no need to remove or make incisions to access graft tissue within your own mouth. The donor tissue is sewn (sutured) into place or held in place by an additional protein additive.

Frenectomy
The small flap of skin that extends from between the middle of your lower front two teeth and the lip is called a frenum. If the frenum is too tight it can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. For areas that suffer gum recession due to a tight frenum, simply snipping the frenum can reduce the stress that it placed on the gum margin. A frenectomy usually costs no more than a few hundred dollars, but typically needs to be paired up with a graft surgery for the affected area.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here

How To Prevent Receding Gums

Treating early signs of gum disease like bleeding and sore gums will keep recession at bay. Neglecting gum health allows periodontitis to occur, which causes gums to detach from the surfaces of teeth. As a result, gum recession occurs and is directly linked with stability of teeth with periodontitis infections. The best prevention plan is to use a daily oral hygiene program that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Use 100% pure botanical oral hygiene products that kill the bad bacteria that lead to gum problems.

Use A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Perhaps the number one cause of receded gums is from brushing too hard or brushing with a medium or stiff-bristled toothbrush. Not only do stiff bristles cause gum recession, but they can also abrade – wear down or rub away by friction – the enamel away from the tooth, resulting in sharp wedges taken out of the tooth near the gum lines.

Brush with a soft-bristled brush and only place as much pressure as needed to cause gentle tissue blanching. Anything more forceful is damaging to your gums and can push them away from the teeth.

Wear A Guard During Nighttime Grinding
If you wake up with sore jaws, or have sharply worn teeth, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth together. Because this action also causes the teeth to flex and break near the margin of the gums, you may suffer gum recession as a side effect. Preventing flexing and wear associated with teeth grinding can reduce the risks of gum recession.

Check Your Gums Regularly
During your normal oral care routine, look in the mirror to see if there are any abnormal gum lines. Your gums should appear fairly even with one another considering the scalloped pattern along your teeth. If you have one or more teeth that appear longer than the same tooth on the opposite side of the mouth, it may be suffering from recession. Ensure you are following proper oral care methods and treat gum infections appropriately to ensure the condition does not worsen.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here

Receding Gums Stages, Dangers And Health Risks

Recession is measured by the distance between the margin of your crown – where the enamel tapers off called the cementoenamel junction – and the level of the gums.

Gum recession is measured in the following categories:

Class I – Mild gum recession. There is no bone loss or loss of tissue between the teeth.

Class II – Gum recession extends toward the border of attached and loose gingiva. There is no bone loss or loss of tissue between the teeth.

Class III – Gum recession extends past the border of attached and loose gingiva. Bone loss or loss of tissue between the teeth is evident. The root is partially covered.

Class IV – Severe gum recession that is associated with gross loss of bone. There is no root coverage.

Receded gums are measured in terms of attachment loss. Simply having mild gum recession does not mean you are in the clear for gum disease. You may have mild recession with just one to two millimeters of exposed root surface, but a very deep pocket under the gum lines that is symptomatic of severe periodontitis. However, severe gum recession also means there obviously cannot be enough bone support on that portion of the tooth, meaning tooth stability is at risk. The more moderate to severe your gum recession, the more susceptible your tooth is to mobility and loss.

 Dangers And Health Risks

Gum recession is a key factor in maintaining healthy tooth stability. Losing attachment levels around a tooth can ultimately lead to tooth loss, which also affects the adjacent teeth in the area. If recession is due to habits such as abrasive brushing, grinding, clenching or tobacco use, it is important to halt these before even more loss can occur.

Receded gums can also be a signal that you are suffering from gum disease. Healthy gums are tightly attached to the teeth near the margin of the dental crown, with no exposed root surfaces. If inflammation, bleeding, redness or sore gums are associated with your receded gums, it is likely that you are suffering from periodontitis. This severe form of gum disease is directly associated with health risks and conditions such as:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Preterm labor

Gum recession may be slow, or it may be very progressive. Most recession is usually noticed when you have already lost two millimeters of attachment around the tooth, leaving a mild amount of root surface exposed. The more severe your gum disease, the quicker you will see the attachment levels being lost. If the cause of your recession is due to grinding or abrasive brushing, the signals may take longer to appear.

Any signs of recession during orthodontic treatment should immediately be brought to the attention of your orthodontist. Recession during orthodontic therapy is a sign that movement is occurring at too rapid of a rate, with gum and bone levels not being able to keep up with the repositioning.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here

Study: The Secrets Of Tooth Calcium Revealed

Two studies on calcium isotopes in teeth have provided new insights into both the extinction of the marine reptiles and weaning age in humans. The findings of these studies, conducted by CNRS researchers at Lyon ENS and Université Claude Bernard Lyon, were published, recently in Current Biology and PNAS. They open new avenues for research in anthropology and paleontology.

A new method for measuring proportions of stable calcium isotopes has just been developed by a team of geochemists, in particular involving the Laboratoire de géologie de Lyon: Terre, planètes et environnement (ENS Lyon/CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1). This high precision method allows new scientific advances in all kinds of domains, such as estimating weaning age in humans from milk teeth or finding a new explanation for the extinction of marine reptiles.

Calcium is the main constituent of our bones and teeth. There are six stable isotopes of this element on Earth. These isotopes do not generate natural radioactivity, but make it possible to identify chemical reactions through their specific signatures, which are formed by the fractionation of the different calcium isotopes during biological processes and are all the more marked in bones and teeth. The method used by the researchers is therefore to analyze the degree of isotopic fractionation in these tissues.

New Measuring Method

Breast milk is the substance in which calcium isotopes are most fractionated. Thus, by analyzing milk teeth, it is possible to trace someone’s diet in the early years of their life. The more milk in the diet, the more the dental calcium contains light isotopes. By cutting into milk teeth and measuring isotopic ratios using a mass spectrometer, the researchers observed that teeth begin mineralization with very considerable isotopic differences and that these values maintain stable proportions until weaning.

By knowing the speed at which tooth enamel is formed, researchers have been able to develop a way to estimate weaning age in our ancestors. This new method could allow anthropologists to better understand hominid community structures.

In another field, isotopic analysis of dental calcium allowed researchers to show that on the eve of the extinction of the dinosaurs, large marine reptiles were at the top of the marine food chain. This study suggests that this competitive situation could be the reason for their disappearance, as a result of the scarcity of their shared source of food.

In a previous study in 2015, CNRS researcher Vincent Balter and his colleagues had already noticed that the proportions of stable calcium isotopes in the tooth calcium of marine animals varied progressively from the bottom to the top of the food chain. The researchers analyzed the proportions of stable calcium isotopes in fish teeth, turtle shells, sharks and marine reptiles from a paleontological site in Morocco. Fossils over 65 million years old were chemically treated before analysis to avoid bias caused by fossilization.

The research team was able to show that fish, turtles and sharks had the same proportions of stable calcium isotopes as they do today. On the contrary, large marine reptiles – elasmosaurs and mosasaurs – had proportions characteristic of today’s large white sharks, and were therefore at the top of the marine food chain before their extinction.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

An ice cream cone on a hot July day can be a tasty way to beat the heat, but if you’re one of the millions of people who have sensitive teeth, then that cold treat can be a real pain. So, what causes your teeth to fear the sweet embrace of cold, delicious treat, or on the other hand, a good cup of hot coffee? An expert from the Texas A&M College of Dentistry explains what causes sensitive teeth and how to strengthen your pearly whites.

Teeth are complicated, and as we use them, we wear down our enamel – which protects our teeth. “When the inner layer of the tooth, called the dentin, is exposed to the oral environment, there is access to the dentinal tubules,” said Jane Cotter, RDH, MS, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Dentistry. “Hydrodynamic fluid movement, caused by stimuli within the dentinal tubules, stimulates the nerve and that causes a pain response.”

The most common factor related to sensitive teeth is gum recession. When the gum begins to recede, the tooth’s root becomes exposed, resulting in sensitivity. Other causes of sensitive teeth are toothbrush abrasion, periodontal therapy – treatment for periodontal disease, tooth decay or faulty restorations, excessive grinding or excessive bleaching.

“What you eat and drink can also cause your teeth to become more sensitive,” Cotter said. “Sodas – both diet and regular – energy drinks, fruit juice, wine and coffee can all worsen your teeth sensitivity. Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, are also active in this sense, but less than with liquids.”

Sensitive Teeth And The Chills

Despite what it may feel like, the cold weather is actually affecting your sinuses, and not your teeth, at least not directly.

“Changes in atmospheric pressure can cause pressure in the sinuses that are located above the upper posterior teeth,” Cotter said. “The sinus pressure can lower the pain threshold for these teeth making them more sensitive to external stimuli – like cold water or air.”

This can make everyday activities, such as running, difficult to do in cold weather without feeling some pain in your mouth. However, luckily there are ways to offset your sensitive teeth and conquer the elements once again.

Treating Sensitive Teeth

Having sensitive teeth can be really dull. Not being able to enjoy an ice cream cone, a cold-weather workout or your favorite whitening toothpaste can be inconvenient. Luckily, there are ways to de-sensitize your teeth. “Be sure you’re using a soft bristle toothbrush or mechanical toothbrush to help control the pressure when brushing.”

If you can’t shake off your sensitive teeth at home using products from your local drug store, there are ways to possibly improve your sensitive teeth at your dental health care provider’s office.

“Ask your health care provider about products that can close the open dentinal tubes or desensitize the nerve endings,” Cotter said. “If necessary, the sensitive area may be restored with filling material.”

Talking With Your Health Care Provider

Sensitive teeth may seem like a minor inconvenience, but Cotter stresses the importance of being candid with your dental health provider about any changes or sensitive areas you notice. The more information you can give your provider, the better. Keep track of duration, type of pain, triggers, location, and any other detail regarding your sensitive teeth that can help your provider assess the situation.

“Tooth sensitivity is an indication of a change in the tooth or supporting tissue,” Cotter said. “Whether it’s tooth decay, infection or dentin hypersensitivity, it should be addressed. If it’s causing you to change your normal habits – such as what or how you eat – then intervention is needed.”

 

Natural Home Remedies For Gum Disease

If you start to suffer from gum disease, it’s incredibly important you realize that you don’t have to shell out a ton of money and a dentist visit to get your mouth back to pristine health. There are many ways that you can properly and completely treat your gums. It’s believed that more than half of all Americans over the age of 30 experience some type of gum disease. This means that your oral care is even more imperative as you grow older. Here are some of the easy, inexpensive and natural ways you can treat gum disease if you suspect you have it.

Oil Pulling

This is a method that has been used for centuries, dating all the way back to ancient medicine. Certain oils have properties that are intrinsically antibacterial. The bacteria that lives and festers in your mouth is one of the leading causes of gum disease, it increases plaque build-up, and can lead to further oral issues like abscesses and tooth loss. It helps to pull harmful toxins and impurities directly from your mouth and gums. Oils such as coconut, sesame and olive oils are the best to use. Swish the oil inside your mouth for at least two full minutes with every use.

Turmeric And Garlic Paste

These two entities are incredibly helpful and beneficial to the gums. When you combine the two into a paste, it can be used like a toothpaste and thoroughly rinsed out of the mouth afterwards. Due to the naturally occurring elements in both ingredients, the antibacterial properties within them have powerful healing abilities. Not only will it help to clear the bacteria from your gums and teeth, but it will also help to eliminate the inflammation that is often a result of gum disease.

Aloe Vera Gel

We’re not talking about the bright green gel that you get in the bottle at the drug store – the kind that helps to relieve a really bad sunburn. No, we’re talking about the natural kind that comes straight from the plant without any additives or extra components. When it comes straight from the plant, it’s incredibly powerful and will help to heal your gums. You can brush your teeth lightly with it after brushing with regular toothpaste. You can also rub it against your gums or troublesome spots that are giving you a bit of a headache.

Salt Water

Many don’t realize the healing properties present in salt. Salt can be a major anti inflammatory aid when mixed with warm water. It’s also naturally antibacterial, which means it helps to eliminate and rid your mouth of the bacteria that caused the gum disease in the first place. Rinse your mouth with warm water and a teaspoon of sea salt twice a day in between brushes. This will also clear out all of the food particles that can often accumulate and aren’t always caught by the toothbrush.

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Periodontitis And Lifestyle Changes

Having a healthy immune system makes a huge impact on your body’s ability to respond to periodontitis. Neglecting other health conditions such as obesity or diabetes may make it harder for you to address your periodontitis concerns and symptoms because your immune system is already strained. Here are some simple tips to help fight periodontitis in a truly holistic manner:

Work Out To Fight Plaque
Stimulating your cardiovascular system can prevent plaque biofilm from accumulating in large amounts throughout your cardiovascular system. That’s right – the plaque from your mouth can also enter into your arteries and heart!

Kick The Tobacco Habit
Nearly every patient with periodontitis who also smokes will never see an improvement in their condition. No matter how dedicated they are, smoking can counteract everything good that you do for your gums.

Eat A Balanced Diet
Fibrous fruits and vegetables stimulate gum tissue as you chew, while also providing essential nutrients to the rest of your system. They actually cleanse the teeth while you eat them! When your body has healthy nutrients going in, it makes it easier for you to fight infections as they occur.

Limit Sugar And Alcohol Intake
Sugars and refined sugars often found in processed food and alcoholic beverages create an acidic environment inside of the mouth and the rest of the body. Bacteria thrive in these areas and as they feed on the sugar the result is lots and lots of plaque biofilm. The more sugar you eat – whether it be through your coffee, juice, packaged food, alcoholic drink or other source – the more bacteria that you are going to produce in your mouth. The more bacteria you have, the easier it is for your periodontitis to advance.

More Facts About Periodontitis

Periodontitis can almost always be cured. Dedicated preventive routines, along with supplementation and necessary lifestyle changes, can allow your body to rid itself of the infection. Depending on how advanced the condition is you may need professional treatment ranging from maintenance visits to surgical therapies. In extremely advanced stages of the disease it may be impossible, requiring extraction of the teeth to rid the body of the chronic infection.

In some cases periodontitis can be reversed. Unfortunately, the more the advanced the periodontitis is, the less likely it is to reverse it. You can however stop the disease process from progressing further in most cases with professional care and dedicated home routines. It is easier to reverse periodontitis when symptoms are in the beginning stages.

Periodontitis can be spread between close family members such as husband and wife or parent to child. This is due to the bacteria passing between people through saliva, making it even more important for you to treat the condition.

Symptoms of periodontitis may not be visible for patients that smoke, have undergone radiation therapy or are taking certain medications. In these cases swelling and bleeding may not be evident, but the disease can lie deep below the gums. Other symptoms such as food packing between the teeth or under the gums or shifting teeth may prove to be identifying factors.

Mild periodontitis can be efficiently treated through dedicated oral hygiene routines and supplementation. By preventing the condition to continue, you reverse the bone loss process and may also encourage some tissue reattachment. Periodontitis is a serious condition and requires extremely dedicated oral hygiene practices on a daily basis to prevent relapse.

Brushing and flossing alone does not necessarily remove the bacteria associated with periodontitis. If you have mild periodontitis with only minimum gum detachment or bone loss, it may be just fine. However, due to the loss of attachment with moderate or more severe forms of periodontitis, the concave root surfaces on the sides of the teeth often harbor disease bacteria that cannot be reached with typical oral hygiene methods. A water flosser may be a more efficient method of home cleansing for these areas.

Genetic predisposition may play a factor in your body’s risk to develop periodontitis. Many people with periodontitis identify that one or both of their parents or a sibling has suffered from the same condition. While genetics play a part, it may also be due to the bacteria spreading back and forth among family members through saliva. Simply being predisposed to the disease does not mean that you cannot effectively treat and prevent the symptoms.

Many people complain that simple oral care routines at home such as brushing or flossing cause their gums to bleed or be uncomfortable. Bleeding or irritation is simply a symptom of periodontitis. You must begin cleaning the teeth correctly each day for up to two weeks before expecting symptoms such as bleeding or tenderness to go away. If they do not improve you may need professional treatment as well.

Putting off care for periodontitis could result in advancement of the disease condition into a more severe stage. As the stage of disease progresses, treatments become more invasive and costly in an attempt to retain your teeth. Otherwise, the disease continues to destroy gum attachment and bone levels, ultimately resulting in the loss of teeth.

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How Does Gum Disease Start And What Are The Signs?

Gum disease is a fairly common condition that has many different facets and degrees. The beginning stage of gum disease – typically gingivitis – results in red or swollen gums. This usually happens when the health of your gums are not kept in good condition. Oral health is the most crucial part of preventing your gums from becoming vulnerable to outside forces and pesky bacteria. Here are some common things you should look out for that may indicate you are suffering from gum disease.

Red Gums

If you notice that your gums are redder or brighter than usual, you should definitely keep an eye on them as this is an early sign of gum disease. Keep your mouth clean by steady brushing, flossing and rinsing. These three things cannot be substituted by other measures. They are essential and will vastly improve the state and health of your gums.

Sore Gums

If you notice soreness in your mouth that seems to be coming from your gums, do not just ignore it or take it lightly. Those signs are there for a reason and they are likely telling you something about your mouth and the health of it. If you notice soreness or discomfort in your gums, the first thing you’ll need to do is check the area for plaque build-up, redness or any other abnormality that you aren’t used to seeing. One thing that gum disease does do is give you signs. Pay attention to your mouth and when completing your oral hygiene practices, make sure you are mindful of any discomfort in your gums.

Bleeding Gums

It’s perfectly normal to see a little pink in the sink after you brush your teeth. But if it becomes more than that, you need to be paying close attention to your gums. Gums that bleed are a major sign of gum disease. The reason for the blood is because the health of the gum is compromised. This often happens because the build-up of plaque causes the gums to be irritated, weak and become more susceptible to gingivitis or other types of gum disease. You may be suffering from gum disease if your gums are bleeding.

Receding Gums

This is a clear indication of gum disease and must be dealt with right away. If you start to experience your gums pulling away from your teeth or shrinking in any way, this could mean that you are suffering from some form of gum disease. When plaque is not properly removed, it can cause build-up that will push the gums further away from the tooth. This is often noticeable to the naked eye. If this isn’t properly treated it can lead to further damage that can cause tooth decay or even tooth loss.

It’s so important to listen to your mouth and all the ways it tells you what type of job you’re doing when you clean it. Upkeep is exceedingly important and should not be shirked. Keep your dental hygiene intact and you lessen the likelihood of suffering from gum disease.

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