Dentists See Increase In Dental Caries

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was so adamant about the effect of soda consumption  on the health of New Yorkers that he tried tirelessly but unsuccessfully to impose a soda tax in New York much to the dismay of many New Yorkers. Now he seems adamant to spend more of his own money having just  launched a $3 million television advertising blitz in the Chicago area  using his own personal money in support of the “Cook County sweetened beverage tax.”

His aim, the same as his aim in New York, is to reduce the effect of soda consumption on children and teens in working class backgrounds  particularly since it is a known fact that 40 percent of them will develop type-2 diabetes in their lifetime.  Now he is trying to do the same in Cooke County, Illinois. This looks like it might be more than possible as  Berkeley, California was the first community in the United States that passed a  targeted tax on soda in 2014.

As the summer comes to an end, sports drink manufacturers will be high-fiving after another record breaking years of sales for sugar-based sports drinks. However, many dentists are seeing the effects of dental caries mostly among young men and women under the age of 30 who are the prime target for consumption. PepisCo’s Gatorade brand has become the undisputed leader in these sugar-based sports drinks that are prevalent in the U.S. market. A  recent report by Euromonitor International shows that Gatorade captured a 77 percent market share of the $6.8 billion industry in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As the carbonated drink industry becomes more aware of people’s aversion to aspartame, they have been making significant inroads into the sports drink and fruit juice industry with  Coca-Cola acquiring a 30 percent stake in Suja Juice – a  manufacturer of California-based organic juices that uses HPP technology. Suja Juice generated $42 million in revenue in 2014.

Sugar-Based Beverages

However, dentists are quick to point out that these organic juices have sometimes just as high sugar content as sports drink and the effect can be seen in the dental chair increasingly. Between 1989 and 2008 the average consumption of sugar-based beverages increased by 60 percent in the age group six to 11. The percentage of children consuming them grew 79 percent to 91 percent during that time period. The production in the U.S. for sugar-based ‘soda pop’ is staggering. The beverage industry produces 10.4 billion gallons of soda pop each year. This is enough to serve every American a 12 ounce can every day for a whole year.

Dr. David Pinkhsaov spends a lot of his  time preaching common sense guidelines to children and their parents at his practice Right Family Dental P.C.  in the Bronx. He uses hard facts to break it down to children and parents where they see that soda consumption is a problem. “ I tell my patients how much sugar they are consuming when they drink sodas and most are very alarmed,” says Dr. Pinkhasov. “When you drink a can of soda you are consuming 150 calories, 90 percent of this being derived from high fructose corn syrup. Let’s forget about the obesity problem in New York for a minute, the damage that can happen to your teeth over time is huge. Once you consume one of these drinks the sugar entering your mouth combines with the bacteria present – this is when acids are created that attack your teeth. This period lasts for about 20 minutes with the end result after over consumption being that there is enamel erosion and your teeth and are then very vulnerable. “

His partner, Violeta Skevas, DDS, says she sees no change in the trend and points to recent industry figures such as the  2013 study which showed that  manufacturers of soft drinks spent a staggering $866 million dollars in advertising across all types of media. “This is a huge amount of money, but more worrying than this is the effect that this can have on our economy – we spend nearly $200 billion in the U.S. treating the obesity epidemic. It has a trickle down effect for all us – higher taxes, higher health insurance, everything. We see a lot of patients coming in with an emergency toothache or root canals and many have failed root canals, so there is really no option other than extraction or dental implants. In many of these patients we see that there is over consumption of sports and sugar-based drinks that patients use for hydration in the New York heat. In my opinion the overconsumption of sports drinks can contribute greatly to dental caries.”

The overconsumption of sugar-based drinks seems to be the same all over New York. Jim Sarji, DDS of Advanced Gentle Dentistry of Park Slope, says he sees patients, many of whom are very athletic but now realize that overconsumption of sugar-based sports drinks has had a debilitating effect on their teeth and are now looking to remedy it.  “For some people it is not unusual for them to drink one of these sports drinks a day, sometimes more on a hot day. This is a lot of sugar.”

The Vicious Circle

David Pinkhasov, DDS  says that  the effects of sugar consumption in the Bronx has undoubtedly led to the high incidence of type-2 diabetes which he bases on the medical evidence he has read and the effects of which he sees every day. “There is a large incidence of periodontal disease in the Bronx. This is largely due to the high incidence of type-2 diabetes. If you have type-2 diabetes then you are more prone to periodontal disease and if you have periodontal disease this can exacerbate your diabetes. It is a vicious circle.”

He is quick to point out a recent Epi Data Brief published by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in 2015 which stated that 47 percent of adults ages 30 and older in New York City  have periodontitis (gum disease) and that 26 percent of these adults in the age range  20 to 64 have untreated caries (cavities) which can lead to tooth loss, pain, infection and trouble eating and speaking.

Dr. Steven Cisternas  of Richmond Hill Dental Design Studio and Bay Dental sees a similar situation at his Staten Island practice. “The over-consumption of these drinks can be seen daily when I step out of my office and walk down the street. Everybody is drinking sports drinks, especially the younger generation and especially in the heat.” He offers some advice for those unwilling to give up sports drinks to reduce the harmful effects: “Always use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth, limit your consumption to below 12 ounces a day, never consume before going to bed, and always drink water after consumption only brushing one hour afterwards due to the fact that your enamel will be temporarily weakened.”

Dr. Arkadiy Takhalov of Dr. T’s Pediatrics has a completely different philosophy. “We start educating parents when they first come into their office with their newborns. We point out the amount of sugar in these drinks and that even apple juice has a huge amount of sugar for a young child. This can damage the first set of teeth and the second set of teeth. Milk is a better option and is more nutritious. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that children drinking a lot of juice, even just an eight-ounce sugar sweetened drink can increase a child’s odds that they will become obese by 60 percent. Education of young mothers is the key.”

Wisdom Teeth: Detecting Disease With Tooth Sensors

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the School of Engineering & Applied Science is redefining the notion of a wisdom tooth. The team is developing a smart-tooth technology that could someday be used to detect early signs of certain diseases in high-risk patients by analyzing saliva or gingival crevicular fluid.

“Salivary-based biosensors have generated a lot of interest because of their potential for wide applications in medicine,” said Erica Lynn Scheller, who trained as a dentist and is now an assistant professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology in the School of Medicine. “We’re initially working to develop a biological sensor that measures specific peptides active in periodontal disease and that would be used in combination with a wireless device to retrieve that data.”

“It’s like an electronic tooth,” said Shantanu Chakrabartty, professor of electrical & systems engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and a partner on the project, currently funded by a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Measuring Disease-Specific Peptides
That electronic tooth is actually a tiny sensor and an electronic chip, about a few millimeters-cube in volume. It is designed to be inserted inside the patient’s gum line or as part of a dental appliance, and contains bio-recognition elements that measure disease-specific peptides, which are natural or synthetic groups of amino acids. As a first attempt, the research team will work toward monitoring peptides related to bone breakdown during periodontitis, a dental disease that can lead to loosening and loss of teeth. A wireless ultrasound device would then be used to read the peptide levels and connect to the medical data-cloud.

Right now, one of the project’s biggest challenges is chemistry. “You only have a finite number of bio-recognition elements conjugated to the transducer if you are using an antibody that is specific to these peptides,” said Srikanth Singamaneni, associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science. “They get saturated fairly quickly. The question is how do you refresh those sensors? That’s one of the aspects we are working to address with this project.”

The research team says developing a new, minimally invasive system that can detect and monitor gum disease and the effectiveness of treatment would be beneficial to the 64 million U.S. residents with periodontal disease and to their dentists. The researchers also are interested in developing other applications for the technology that, while likely years away, could go well beyond the dentist’s chair.

“We’re developing this sensing platform that can be expanded to include additional tracking for inflammatory markers, stress markers and diabetes monitoring,” Scheller said. “Really, anything you can think of that you’d want to track in the oral cavity, we’re developing both the platform and the specific application.”

Orthodontic Treatment: How To Reduce The Risk Of Periodontal Disease And Avoid Tooth Loss

Even with regular brushing, flossing and daily oral care, plaque can build up and harden to form what is known as tartar, as well as increase the risk for gum disease and cavities. Orthodontic treatment can help improve the form and function of your teeth and gums, and treat oral problems caused by improper positioning of teeth, decay, overbites, and underbites.

In the early stage of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, it is possible to reverse the damage and, in certain cases, it is also possible to eliminate the disease completely. However, an early diagnosis and timely intervention are vital to reducing the chances of gingivitis and prevent it from progressing into periodontal disease.

Factors That Increase The Risk Of Periodontal Disease 

  • Lack of Oral Hygiene

Neglecting the importance of good dental care leads to poor oral hygiene. Moreover, failure to floss and brush regularly, and the inability to keep up with regular dental visits, leaves you susceptible to periodontal disease.

  • Smoking and Chewing Tobacco

The link between cancer and tobacco consumption is long established, but did you know that smoking and chewing tobacco also increase the risk of heart disease, lung disease and gum disease? Not only does tobacco consumption give rise to gum infections, but it also increases the chance of gingivitis gradually developing into periodontitis.

  • Family History

If gingivitis runs in your family, it leaves you vulnerable to developing gingivitis. According to research published by the American Academy of Periodontology, 30% of the population is genetically predisposed to gingivitis if close family members are suffering from this oral condition.

  • Hormonal Fluctuations

Hormonal changes occurring during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause affect all the tissues of the body including gum tissues, so if you experience increased gum sensitivity, it may be an underlying sign of gradually developing gum disease. Pay special attention to your daily oral care and visit a dentist for an early diagnosis.

  • Certain Drugs

Certain medicines that are prescribed for treating depression, various heart conditions, and convulsions can adversely affect your oral health, so if you are on any medication, make sure your dentist knows about it.

  • Stress

Stress impairs your immunity and leaves you vulnerable to oral infections. Whether your stress is caused by work or triggered by personal issues, it contributes to teeth clenching,  which causes tissue damage and aggravates impending gum disease.

  • Crooked and Misaligned Teeth

Overlapping and crooked teeth are a challenge to clean, increasing the risk of cavities and gingivitis.

  • Poor Nutrition

A daily diet that lacks in essential vitamins and nutrients takes a toll on the immune system making it difficult to ward off infections. Excessive intake of sugary foods and sweet beverages causes the build-up of plaque which eventually triggers gum disease.

How Orthodontic Treatment Helps Cure Periodontal Disease

Braces are designed to correct teeth alignment issues and improve the health of teeth and gums. Whether your teeth are misaligned or you have crowding issues, braces can gradually alter the position and spacing of teeth, improve their stability, and decrease the risk of gum disease caused by crowded, uneven teeth. An ideal candidate for braces can be of any age, however, the orthodontic treatment approach will vary depending on the time when the braces are used.

Braces can not only align the adjacent teeth and close small gaps but also open up the unsightly space left by missing teeth and make more room for a restoration procedure. Braces also work to prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting into the space created by missing teeth and help prevent many oral problems.

Invisalign Aligners – An Ideal Option For Those Who Have Periodontal Disease

While braces efficiently straighten crooked teeth, they could have complications especially if you are suffering from gum disease. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque build-up which weakens the gum tissues and eventually erodes the surrounding bone structure, but it can be brought under control using clear aligners. Invisalign aligners minimize gum infection flare-ups and are especially beneficial for patients suffering from gum disease as they can be easily removed for brushing and flossing.

Orthodontic treatment can also correct oral problems arising in patients with missing teeth. It can also close a gap that is created is missing teeth using braces, if the tooth is not to be replaced.

Author Bio: 

Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the online marketing manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily and she loves researching and writing about it. She loves to write about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake for her children and co-workers – they call her the cookie fairy!

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.”

 

The Link Between Periodontal And Cerebrovascular Diseases

female doctor with jaw xray
female doctor with jaw xray

A new study has revealed a relationship between chronic periodontitis and lacunar infarct – two common diseases in the elderly. Chronic periodontitis is an inflammatory disease of the gums, whereas lacunar infarct is a type of cerebral small vessel disease that can lead to a stroke.

Additional research is needed to understand this link. It is hypothesized that periodontitis leads to systemic inflammation and, as a result, the health of the blood vessels could be affected. On the other hand, chronic periodontitis and lacunar infarct may share common vascular risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

“We observed that people diagnosed with periodontal disease had about a 4-fold increased risk of developing lacunar stroke compared with those without periodontitis. If further prospective cohort studies confirm our findings, interventional studies should be performed to assess the potential benefit of periodontal therapy in patients with lacunar stroke and periodontitis,” said Dr. Yago Leira, lead author of the European Journal of Neurology study. “Periodontal treatment may also decrease systemic inflammation and, therefore, it may reduce the risk of developing lacunar infarct,” Leira added.

Loose Teeth: What Causes Them?

tooth x-ray in the hand
tooth x-ray in the hand

While we can all agree that oral health care is incredibly important, some do not take it as seriously as they should until it is too late. Additionally, there is a myriad of different ways that our mouths can suffer from lack of proper care and dental hygiene. But not all mouth issues stem from lack of proper oral care. Oddly enough, the ways in which we can suffer, and the subsequent ailments we may incur, span quite a few different areas. When loss of teeth occurs as the result of something other than an accident, it could have potentially been prevented by detailed oral care, or can be a result of something else entirely.

Those who are suffering from loose teeth may have ignored prior signs that they have a gum condition, which is caused by bacterial biofilm, called periodontal disease. This causes inflammation in the gums and destroys all supporting structures of the teeth, more specifically the bone. The accumulation of plague that must occur for this to take place is plentiful. Little bits of plaque will not likely cause such an issue.

Other Causes

Pregnancy can also cause loose teeth. This is because the high levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can often cause the bones around the teeth to loosen, which can cause tooth mobility. It is imperative that once any sign of loose teeth is noticed, a dentist is contacted immediately. Quick reaction can be the difference between losing a tooth, or multiple teeth, completely. Don’t take that chance.

Another case of loose teeth, that is not directly tied to poor hygiene, is osteoporosis. This is a condition that affects both women and men. It causes the weakening of the bones which can lead to fractures and other problems. It is said that women who suffer from osteoporosis are more than three times more prone to losing teeth from the condition than those who are not. Though the treatment of osteoporosis is fairly common, it is important to inform your dentist if you are taking any medication for the condition.

As mentioned above, sometimes loose teeth can be caused by some sort of accident or traumatic force to the mouth. This can also happen if you grind your teeth significantly, or if you are known to clench your jaw. While teeth are incredibly strong and durable, consider any type of injury to your mouth a reason to see the dentist immediately.

Tooth loss is very serious and, while we’d all like to think that we have good habits when it comes to cleaning and tending to our mouths, sometimes our oral care regimen isn’t the only thing that will impact the longevity of our pearly whites. Whether it’s gum disease, pregnancy or osteoporosis, making sure you know exactly what is going on with your teeth is vital. At the first sign of a wiggling or loose tooth, it is imperative that your first order of business is visiting your dentist to confirm the options you have.

Click here to learn more about OraMD.

National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and we at THP would like to take a few moments to remind or inform you of how to keep your mouth in mint condition with good oral hygeine and OraMD.

It’s estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, and unhealthy conditions in the mouth like that can often be attributed to poor oral hygiene. These same conditions can also generally be corrected, or prevented in the first place by adopting good oral hygiene practices. This includes brushing, flossing, gargling, and in cases of bad breath or halitosis, many turn to mints or gum to mask odor. However, many of the over-the-counter products that are advertised to help improve these conditions actually contain ingredients that contribute to poor oral health.

OraMD contains ingredients that are 100% all natural, and proven to be anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal and can replace all of the chemical laden products you might normally use, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and even mints or gum.

To use as toothpaste, put 2-5 drops of OraMD on your toothbrush and brush as normal. Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene, as it removes food particles and plaque from the spaces between teeth that your brush will not reach. Some people prefer to use an oral irrigator in place of floss to clean between teeth with pressurized water. OraMD can be added to the water used for irrigation for an enhanced anti-bacterial effect, but it is important to remember that OraMD can sometimes damage cheaper plastic components. To avoid this, flush your irrigator immediately after use with medium-to-hot water for 20-30 seconds. OraMD can be used as a mouth rinse simply by diluting 2-5 drops in an ounce of water and gargling. You can also apply a few drops directly onto the tongue to coat the mouth and remove the cause of bad breath.


Periodontal Disease Linked To Rheumatoid Arthritis

A recent study performed at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH shows a link between gum/periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The study found that when arthritis sufferers treated their periodontal condtitions that their arthritis related symptoms diminished. This makes sense as both are inflammatory diseases, and further goes to show that improved oral health can lead to better overall health. With that being said, don’t forget to stock up on OraMD for your oral health or Daily Effects for helping to ease those daily aches and pains.

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