Top 10 Common Dental Problems

You know good oral health starts with proper oral care. Brushing and flossing along with regular visits to your dentist Weybridge, all go a long way to keep your mouth healthy. But, if you’ve ever experienced sore gums or a toothache, you know that dental problems can occur even when you’re taking proper care of your teeth.

In fact, besides pain, dental problems can cause you some anxiety, especially when you don’t know exactly what type of issue you are experiencing. By educating yourself on the top 10 dental problems that most people experience, you can help prevent these issues or give yourself a starting point for a discussion with your dentist.

  1. Dental Cavity And Tooth Decay

Almost all adults will experience tooth decay during their lifetime, and approximately 25 percent of all adults have an untreated cavity. You may have a cavity if you notice:

  • Tooth pain
  • Food getting caught in your tooth
  • Your tooth feels rough
  • You experience pain when eating something cold or sweet

Your dentist can treat a cavity with a filling, crown, root canal or even the removal of the tooth if the damage is extensive.

  1. Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Everyone may experience bad breath from time to time, but chronic bad breath, known as halitosis, is more than just a nuisance. In fact, for most people, bad breath is caused by a dental condition. If you suffer from halitosis, you may be experiencing gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, dry mouth or have an abundance of bacteria on your tongue. You should seek out the care of your dentist when suffering from chronic bad breath.

  1. Periodontal/Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. If you believe you have gum disease, you should seek a dentist for help. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, so early treatment is crucial. If you notice symptoms such as bad breath, red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding of your gums, teeth sensitivity or bad breath, your dentist may be able to help.

  1. Oral/Mouth Cancer

If diagnosed early, oral (mouth) cancer may be curable for those who seek treatment early. If you notice symptoms such as sores, lumps, or rough areas in your mouth, a change in your bite, difficulty chewing or moving your tongue or jaw, you should seek help. Additionally, if you are a user of tobacco products and/oralcohol you should know these may increase your risk of developing oral cancer.

  1. Mouth Sores/Ulcers

While often annoying, most mouth sores or ulcers do not pose a serious problem to your dental health. Canker sores are a common problem that you may experience and only require treatment if they last longer than two weeks.

  1. Teeth Darkening

If you have a tooth that experiences trauma, for example, a blow to the mouth, you may notice your tooth changes color. This happens for one of two reasons: your tooth is trying to protect the nerve, or the tooth is dying. In both cases, you should seek help from your dentist so that he/she can assess the situation and make a recommendation for treatment.

  1. Infected Tooth Nerve

An infected tooth nerve occurs when bacteria infect the root of your mouth. This may manifest itself as a simple toothache but is a much more serious issue. You may develop an abscess and excessive pain if not treated immediately.

  1. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

You may have had a loved one tell you that you grind your teeth during the night, although this is not the only time that you may grind your teeth. This grinding of the teeth is known as bruxism. Without treatment, your teeth may become worn down, or you may suffer from toothaches, earaches, headaches or jaw pain.

  1. Chipped Tooth

There are several ways your dentist can fix a chipped tooth. He/she may smooth the tooth, provide a filling which matches your tooth color or use a veneer or crown. Chipped teeth should not be ignored as they may cause tooth pain or lead to further tooth damage if not treated.

  1. Enamel Erosion

Your tooth enamel can experience erosion when it is bombarded with acid. The acid breaks down the tooth and can cause sensitivity to hot or cold items or even more severe problems. This condition is easily preventable.

If you have questions about any of these 10 common dental problems, you should seek out the advice of your dentist. He/she can advise you on any issues you are suffering from and provide you with a proper treatment plan.

Author Bio:

Oatlands Dental Lounge is committed to making every patient’s visit as comfortable and personalized as possible. We consider our dental team, our patients and their families to be valuable elements – when you become part of the Oatlands Dental Lounge family, you become a very important person!

Can Gum Disease Treatment Improve Symptoms In Cirrhosis Patients?

A new study in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology suggests that routine oral care to treat gum disease may play a role in reducing inflammation and toxins in the blood and improving cognitive function in people with liver cirrhosis.

Previous research has shown that people with cirrhosis have changes in gut and salivary microbiota – bacteria that populate the gastrointestinal tract and mouth – which can lead to gum disease and a higher risk of cirrhosis-related complications. In addition, studies have found that people with cirrhosis have increased levels of inflammation throughout the body, which is associated with hepatic encephalopathy.

Researchers studied two groups of volunteers that had cirrhosis and mild-to-moderate periodontitis. One group received periodontal care including teeth cleaning and removal of bacteria toxins from the teeth and gums. The other group was not treated for gum disease. The research team collected blood, saliva and stool samples before and 30 days after treatment. Each volunteer took standardized tests to measure cognitive function before and after treatment.

Oral Inflammation Reduction

The treated group – especially those with hepatic encephalopathy – had increased levels of beneficial gut bacteria that could reduce inflammation, as well as lower levels of endotoxin-producing bacteria in the saliva when compared to the untreated group. The untreated group demonstrated an increase in endotoxin levels in the blood over the same time period. The improvement in the treated group “could be related to a reduction in oral inflammation leading to lower systemic inflammation, or due to [less harmful bacteria] being swallowed and affecting the gut microbiota,” the research team wrote.

Cognitive function also improved in the treated group, suggesting that the reduced inflammation levels in the body may minimize some of the symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy in people who are already receiving  standard-of-care therapies for the condition. This finding is relevant because there are no further therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to alleviate cognition problems in this population, the researchers said. “The oral cavity could represent a treatment target to reduce inflammation and endotoxemia in patients with cirrhosis to improve clinical outcomes.”

Cirrhosis, which is a growing epidemic in the U.S., is the presence of scar tissue on the liver. When severe, it can lead to liver failure. Complications of cirrhosis can include infections throughout the body and hepatic encephalopathy, a buildup of toxins in the brain caused by advanced liver disease. Symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy include confusion, mood changes and impaired cognitive function.

Can New Biomaterial Re-Define Root Canal Procedure?

Scientists recently announced the development of a peptide hydrogel designed to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and dental pulp within a tooth after a root canal procedure. “What you end up with after a root canal is a dead tooth,” says Vivek Kumar, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator. “It’s no longer responsive. There are no nerve endings or vascular supply. So the tooth is very susceptible to subsequent infection and, ultimately, falling out.”

A root canal results in a dead tooth with no living soft tissue, or dental pulp, inside although the lengthy and sometimes painful surgery relieves the agony of an infection. During a root canal, the dentist drills off the top of an infected tooth to access the soft tissue inside. The dentist then removes the infected dental pulp and fills the space with tiny rubber rods called gutta percha and caps the repaired tooth with a crown.

Kumar, along with Peter Nguyen, Ph.D., who presented the work, wanted to develop a material that could be injected in place of the gutta percha. The material would stimulate both angiogenesis – new blood vessel growth – and dentinogenesis, or proliferation of dental pulp stem cells, within the tooth. Kumar drew on his previous experience developing a hydrogel that stimulates angiogenesis when injected under the skin of rats and mice. The hydrogel, which is liquid during injection, contains peptides that self-assemble into a gel at the injection site. The peptides contain a snippet of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of new blood vessels.

Kumar, then a postdoctoral researcher at Rice University, and his coworkers showed that the self-assembling peptide hydrogel stimulated angiogenesis and persisted under the rodents’ skin for as long as three months. “We asked the question, if we can stimulate angiogenesis in a limb, can we stimulate angiogenesis in other regions that have low blood flow?” Kumar says. “One of the regions we were really interested in was an organ in and of itself, the tooth.” So Kumar and Nguyen added another domain to the self-assembling angiogenic peptide: a piece of a protein that makes dental pulp stem cells proliferate.

When the team added the new peptide to cultured dental pulp stem cells, they found that the peptide not only caused the cells to proliferate, but also activated them to deposit calcium phosphate crystals —  the mineral that makes up tooth enamel. However, when injected under the skin of rats, the peptide degraded within one to three weeks. “This was shorter than we expected, so we went back and redesigned the peptide backbone so that we currently have a much more stable version,” says Kumar. Now, the team is injecting the peptide hydrogel into the teeth of dogs that have undergone root canals to see if it can stimulate dental pulp regeneration in a living animal. If these studies go well, the researchers plan to move the hydrogel into human clinical studies, and have filed a patent for the redesigned peptide.

The hydrogel in its current form likely won’t reduce the invasiveness or pain of a root canal, but Kumar and Nguyen are planning future versions of the peptide that contain antimicrobial domains. “Instead of having to rip out everything inside the tooth, the dentist could go in with a smaller drill bit, remove a little bit of the pulp and inject our hydrogel,” Kumar says. The antimicrobial portion of the peptide would kill the infection, preserving more of the existing dental pulp, while helping grow new tissue. And the root canal may no longer be such a dreaded procedure.

The researchers’ results were presented recently at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). A new video on the research is available at http://bit.ly/acsrootcanal.

How To Keep Teeth Healthy

Keeping your teeth healthy rewards you with a bright smile, fresh breath, and a mouth free from discomfort. The state of your oral health grants valuable insights into your total well-being. Preventing bad breath and tooth decay has far-reaching benefits. Follow our dental advice, and learn how to keep teeth healthy and sustain optimal oral hygiene.

  1. Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day

Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential to healthy teeth and gums. By brushing your teeth twice a day, you keep plaque under control. For best results, brush your teeth once in the morning and once again before going to bed.

  1. Floss Your Teeth Daily

Cleaning between your teeth is essential to good oral health. Dentists can detect whether you floss by how inflamed your gums are. Flossing combined with brushing reduces plaque build-up better than brushing alone. Brushing and flossing together also reduces the risk of most mild gum diseases more than tooth brushing by itself.

  1. Limit Acidic Drinks

When enamel in your teeth comes into contact with acid, the acid erodes the enamel of your teeth. The sugar in sweetened acidic drinks also feeds the harmful bacteria in your mouth. As the bacteria breed and multiply, more acid gets released. Numerous studies have linked the acid produced and the dental erosion that occurs to almost all forms of severe tooth decay. Always do your best to limit the number of acidic drinks and fruit juices you drink.

  1. Limit Sugar Intake

The bacteria in plaque feed on sugar and produce acid, which can rapidly deteriorate enamel. Limit your sugar intake as much as possible. However, if you do have sugar, consume it quickly and try to get it off your teeth as soon as possible. Recent studies show frequent exposure to sugar does the most damage to the enamel of our teeth. For example, sipping on a fizzy drink all day is far more damaging than gulping a glass down quickly a few times a day.

  1. Safeguard Your Teeth From Injury

If your sport puts your teeth at risk, make sure you wear protection. Mouth guards prevent chipping, cracking, and loose teeth. All dental damage serves as a gateway for further complications. When your teeth sustain an injury, the sharp edges can cut soft oral tissue or leave cracks in the enamel. This increases the risk of infection spreading to the root and surrounding gum tissue. Always safeguard your teeth from injury to prevent long-term oral trauma.

  1. Save A Knocked-Out Tooth

Avulsed, or knocked-out, teeth are normally recoverable. If your tooth has been completely knocked out, try to put the tooth back in its socket. Hold a dislodged tooth by the crown, not the roots. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it with saliva or water first but never soap. A knocked-out tooth can survive for up to two hours. Bite on clean gauze or a tea bag to reduce the bleeding and stabilize the tooth.

If you can’t keep the tooth in its socket, then keep it moist. Put the tooth in a cup of milk, saliva, or mixed saline solution and water.  You can also store a knocked-out tooth between your gum and cheek or beneath your tongue. A general practice dentist can re-implant a knocked-out tooth if you preserved it well and if you get to the practice quick enough.

  1. Never Use Your Teeth For Anything Other Than Chewing Food

Teeth are for chewing food, nothing else. Even if cracking open bottle tops or biting open nutshells is comfortable to you, this does not mean it is safe for your teeth. Improper use can damage the enamel or even crack or fracture your teeth. The risk is not worth it.

  1. Never Delay Dental Treatments

Make sure you never delay dental treatments. There is always a Dentist in Milton Keynes available to handle any emergency. If you are suffering from pain or discomfort in any way, get it seen to immediately as waiting worsens the problem.

Author Bio

Susan Louisa works at Oxford House Dental Practice, a pioneer in quality dentistry since its establishment in 1954. With its large, private car park, familiar exterior, friendly attitude of surgeons and the full range of dental treatments, it is a well-known dentist in Milton Keynes, England.

How Teeth Gaps Affect Your Oral Health

Teeth gaps normally happen and many people oftentimes ignore them – especially young children. While some people say that teeth gaps make them feel and look young, teeth gaps or Diastema can actually affect your overall dental health. The misalignment can cause severe issues with your gums and jaw bones as well. Here are some facts about the impact of teeth gaps on your overall dental health to give awareness and stop common misconceptions that come with it.

Increases Chances Of Tooth Decay And Gum Disease

This can happen when food particles get stuck in between the gaps. The food particles will then break down and will slowly form into calculus and plaque. As the plaque continues to build up in between teeth, this can cause your gums to become vulnerable to bacteria. It can cause periodontitis or gingivitis and may worsen in time if left unattended.

People with larger teeth gaps may have higher chances of developing tooth decay. Larger teeth gaps have a higher tendency to accumulate more plaque. The accumulation of plaque will not only harm your teeth, but can also cause heart diseases that are associated with poor oral hygiene.

Problems With Oral Hygiene

Some people think that larger teeth gaps can help you maintain better oral hygiene. However, teeth gaps can cause severe issues and may lead to a myriad of oral problems if not treated. The teeth gaps can become a food trap, which then turns into plaque if not cleaned well. It can also be the reason for gum sensitivity due to constant brushing in between the gaps.

Misalignment And Jaw Pain

Misalignment and jaw pain are oftentimes caused by teeth gaps. Misaligned bites allow teeth to shift out of place. People with misaligned bites or crooked bites can experience chronic pain between the ears, forehead, and jaw. People suffering from misaligned bites can chip or wear off their teeth due to unequal force when they take a bite of hard food. It is very important that you have these gaps corrected to ensure that your teeth are not moving out of place.

Problems With Chewing

Chewing is another problem associated with teeth gaps. Large teeth gaps make it harder for you to chew food. The gums in between the gaps become sensitive when you continuously chew on a large chunk of food, making them susceptible to pain or infection.

Aside from the gum sensitivity, you can also experience an upset stomach due to consuming large chunks of food, making it difficult for your stomach to digest.

Lack Of Confidence

Another issue caused by teeth gaps is low self-esteem. People with teeth gaps often experience low self-esteem because they feel embarrassed to smile with their teeth gaps.

Teeth gaps may seem a normal occurrence for kids and young adults. However, it can cause severe damage if not closed properly. In some cases, these teeth gaps can be temporary, but there are instances when they become permanent. Thus, seek medical advice and oral treatment as soon as possible before your case worsens.

About The Author: Chloie Cartelli is a content writer for Orthofill whose expertise is focused on dental marketing. She graduated from the University of Connecticut and enjoys reading and writing that focuses on dental care.

Dental Health Inequalities Most Evident In Young Children

Inequalities in dental health are most evident in three to six-year-old children, with preschoolers in socioeconomically disadvantaged families having a more than four times higher risk of tooth decay compared to age cohorts with better living conditions, according to new research from the University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden. “We shouldn’t forget that most kids have healthy teeth, but there is a minor group of children who we see at the dental clinic repeatedly, and who have a lot of cavities,” says Ann-Catrin André Kramer, a doctor of dental medicine and a registered dental hygienist.

The dental health of 300,988 individuals aged three to 19 years in the Västra Götaland region of Sweden was studied. The analyses are based on data from the Swedish Public Dental Service and private dental care providers that treat children and young people in the region, as well as information from Statistics Sweden, including information about household finances and education level. The research confirms that from an international perspective, children and young people in Sweden generally have good dental health. However, despite the fact that the Swedish government has provided free dental care to children and young people for decades, large discrepancies in dental health do exist.

Children and adolescents living in rural areas had a lower risk of cavities than their age cohorts in larger towns and cities. There were also differences in caries experience among children of different genders. “It was interesting that the girls had a lower risk of cavities than boys during adolescence, with a reverse pattern before adolescence when girls exhibited a higher risk for caries experience compared to boys,” Kramer added. “This trend had not been observed previously. The question is whether this pattern can be linked to behavior such as diet and oral hygiene habits, or if something biological is occurring in the body. As yet, we have no answers, but the pattern is definitely there, and we really need to investigate it further.”

Tracking Preschool Dental Health

Ten percent of seven to nine-year-olds exhibited tooth decay in their permanent teeth, and two-thirds of older teenagers had cavities or fillings. The results indicate that children in families with limited socioeconomic resources were most at risk of caries experience. This was especially true of preschool-aged children. A smaller sub-study also tracked the dental health of young children during their preschool years. The findings showed that children who already had cavities when they were three years old had developed considerably more tooth decay by the time they turned six, compared to children who were cavity-free at the start of the study. Only half of the children included in the study showed no signs of tooth decay in their primary teeth by the time they reached six years of age.

“This situation is very demanding for both patients and dentists, and we need to consider how we can reach the groups who are most in need of dental care,” Kramer said. “Perhaps we can further develop inter-professional efforts and work with other healthcare professionals and schools to remedy this problem. Children should be taught that brushing their teeth is every bit as important as washing their hands, which is something they learn to do at a young age.”

The Link Between Gum Disease And Rheumatoid Arthritis

The results of a study – presented recently at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology – demonstrates increased levels of gum disease and disease-causing bacteria in individuals at risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). “It has been shown that RA-associated antibodies, such as anti-citrullinated protein antibodies, are present well before any evidence of joint disease. This suggests they originate from a site outside of the joints,” said study author Dr. Kulveer Mankia of Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Muscoskeletal Medicine and the Leeds Biomedical Research Centre. “Our study is the first to describe clinical periodontal disease and the relative abundance of periodontal bacteria in these at-risk individuals. Our results support the hypothesis that local inflammation at mucosal surfaces – such as the gums in this case – may provide the primary trigger for the systemic autoimmunity seen in RA.”

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects a person’s joints, causing pain and disability. It can also affect internal organs. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in older people, but there is also a high prevalence in young adults, adolescents and even children – and it affects women more frequently than men. The prevalence of gum disease is increased in patients with RA and could be a key initiator of RA-related autoimmunity. This is because autoimmunity in RA is characterized by an antibody response to citrullinated proteins and the oral bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) is the only human pathogen known to express an enzyme that can generate citrullinated proteins.

The Study                                 

“We welcome these data in presenting concepts that may enhance clinical understanding of the key initiators of rheumatoid arthritis,” said Professor Robert Landewé, Chairperson of the Scientific Program Committee, EULAR. “This is an essential step towards the ultimate goal of disease prevention.” The study included 48 at-risk individuals with a positive test for anti-citrullinated protein antibodies, musculoskeletal symptoms but no clinical synovitis, 26 patients with RA, and 32 healthy controls. The three groups were balanced for age, gender and smoking. At-risk individuals underwent ultrasound assessment to assess for subclinical synovitis; only two were found to have ultrasound synovitis. Dentists examined six sites per tooth in each participant and a clinical consensus was agreed in each by three dentists.

Study: Can A New Material Regenerate Dental Enamel?

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have developed a new way to grow mineralized materials which could regenerate hard tissues such as dental enamel and bone. Enamel – located on the outer part of our teeth – is the hardest tissue in the body and enables our teeth to function for a large part of our lifetime despite biting forces, exposure to acidic foods and drinks, and extreme temperatures. This performance results from its highly organized structure. Unlike other tissues of the body, enamel cannot regenerate once it is lost, which can lead to pain and tooth loss. These problems affect more than 50 percent of the world’s population and so finding ways to recreate enamel has long been a major need in dentistry.

The study, published in Nature Communications, shows that this new approach can create materials with remarkable precision and order that look and behave like dental enamel. The materials could be used for a wide variety of dental complications such as the prevention and treatment of tooth decay or tooth sensitivity – also known as dentin hypersensitivity. “This is exciting because the simplicity and versatility of the mineralization platform opens up opportunities to treat and regenerate dental tissues,” says Dr. Sherif Elsharkawy, a dentist and first author of the study from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science. “For example, we could develop acid resistant bandages that can infiltrate, mineralize, and shield exposed dentinal tubules of human teeth for the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity.”

The Key Discovery

The mechanism that has been developed is based on a specific protein material that is able to trigger and guide the growth of apatite nanocrystals at multiple scales – similarly to how these crystals grow when dental enamel develops in our body. This structural organization is critical for the outstanding physical properties exhibited by natural dental enamel. “A major goal in materials science is to learn from nature to develop useful materials based on the precise control of molecular building-blocks,” added lead author Professor Alvaro Mata, from Queen Mary’s School of Engineering and Materials Science. “The key discovery has been the possibility to exploit disordered proteins to control and guide the process of mineralization at multiple scales. Through this, we have developed a technique to easily grow synthetic materials that emulate such hierarchically-organized architecture over large areas and with the capacity to tune their properties.”

Enabling control of the mineralization process opens the possibility to create materials with properties that mimic different hard tissues beyond enamel such as bone and dentin. As such, the work has the potential to be used in a variety of applications in regenerative medicine. In addition, the study also provides insights into the role of protein disorder in human physiology and pathology.

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.”

Study: Oral Health Problem Looms For Aging Population

Urgent attention needs to be paid to frail older New Zealanders’ oral health, a University of Otago study has highlighted. In a world first, Otago researchers surveyed the oral health of 987 people living in aged residential care and found those with dementia, and older men in general, have dirtier and more decayed teeth. Otago Head of Department of Oral Sciences and lead author, Professor Murray Thomson, describes poor oral health as one of the “geriatric giants” with the situation a “major clinical and public health problem which is going to get worse.”

Older people have higher rates of cognitive and physical impairments that can adversely affect their oral self-care and complicate the provision of oral care, he says. “Neither the aged care sector nor the dental profession, in most countries, is prepared. Not only do we have more and more older people every year, but more and more people are entering old age with their own teeth, rather than full dentures, as was the situation just a couple of decades ago. “In some ways, dentistry has been a victim of its success – we have long emphasized the idea of ‘teeth for life’ without much thought to what happens towards the end of life. We also now know that half of those in old age will end up in residential aged care, and that more and more of those will have some form of dementia.”

Professor Thomson believed that “slow progress” was being made in the area. “It’s a very complex situation involving a lot of players – the aged care sector, the Ministry of Health, the dental profession, and the public. An encouraging sign is the inclusion of oral health in New Zealand’s Healthy Ageing Strategy. That’s a starting point, but there is a lot of work to be done,” he says.

Greater Rates Of Tooth Decay

Of those examined in the study – representative of the more than 14,000 New Zealanders living in aged care – recently published in the journal Gerodontology, about half had severely impaired cognitive function, and more than a third required fillings or extractions. Those with severely impaired cognitive function had greater numbers of teeth with decay. They also had higher oral debris scores, reflecting poorer daily oral hygiene care.

Professor Thomson says greater rates of tooth decay can result in dental and facial infections, poorer quality of life, malnutrition and difficulties in communication. The researchers also found that even the most cognitively impaired participants were able to be examined fairly easily, meaning that regular, routine removal of oral debris by carers should not be difficult. “The issue that we currently face is that much of that debris removal is not being done, and this, along with frequent exposure to sugary, over-processed meals and snacks, and poor salivary function, is enabling plaque and dental caries to flourish in aged residential care populations.”

For those wanting to improve or maintain their oral health, Professor Thomson has some simple advice: brush twice daily; clean carefully between the teeth at least two to three times per week; avoid having sweet drinks or snacks between meals – and that includes sugar in tea or coffee – it takes only a couple of days to get used to not having it; and avoid smoking. “For people who have poor oral health in middle age, it is not going to be any better in old age, and an honest, open conversation with a dentist about the options, which may include complete extraction, may be a very good idea.”

Study: 3-D Printed Dentures Could Fight Off Infections

Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. denture-wearing population suffer frequent fungal infections that cause inflammation, redness and swelling in the mouth. To better treat these infections – called denture-related stomatitis – University at Buffalo researchers have turned to 3-D printers, using the machines to build dentures filled with microscopic capsules that periodically release Amphotericin B, an antifungal medication.

A study describing the work, recently published in Materials Today Communications, found that the drug-filled dentures can reduce fungal growth. Unlike current treatment options, such as antiseptic mouthwashes, baking soda and microwave disinfection, the new development can also help prevent infection while the dentures are in use.

“The major impact of this innovative 3-D printing system is its potential impact on saving cost and time,” says Praveen Arany, DDS, Ph.D., the study’s senior author and an assistant professor in the Department of Oral Biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine. The technology allows clinicians to rapidly create customized dentures chair-side, a vast improvement over conventional manufacturing that can vary from a few days to weeks.

Applications from this research could be applied to various other clinical therapies, including splints, stents, casts and prosthesis. “The antifungal application could prove invaluable among those highly susceptible to infection, such as the elderly, hospitalized or disabled patients,” Arany says. The dental biomaterials market – worth more than $66 billion in 2015 – is expected to grow 14 percent by 2020. A large part of the industry is focused on dental polymers, particularly the fabrication of dentures.

UB researchers printed their dentures with acrylamide, the current go-to material for denture fabrication. The study sought to determine if these dentures maintained the strength of conventional dentures and if the material could effectively release antifungal medication.

Testing The Strength And Medication

To test the strength of the teeth, researchers used a flexural strength testing machine to bend the dentures and discover their breaking points. A conventional lab-fabricated denture was used as a control. Although the flexural strength of the 3-D printed dentures was 35 percent less than that of the conventional pair, the printed teeth never fractured.

To examine the release of medication in the printed dentures, the team filled the antifungal agent into biodegradable, permeable microspheres. The microspheres protect the drug during the heat printing process, and allow the release of medication as they gradually degrade.

The investigation involved the development of an innovative form of acrylamide designed to carry antifungal payloads, and a novel syringe pump system to combine the dental polymer and microspheres during the printing process.

The dentures were tested with one, five and 10 layers of material to learn if additional layers would allow the dentures to hold more medication. The researchers found the sets with five and 10 layers were impermeable and were not effective at dispensing the medication. Release was not hindered in the more porous single layer, and fungal growth was successfully reduced.

Future research aims to reinforce the mechanical strength of 3-D printed dentures with glass fibers and carbon nanotubes, and focus on denture relining – the readjustment of dentures to maintain proper fit.

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.”

Tooth-Mounted Sensors Track What You Eat

Monitoring in real time what happens in and around our bodies can be invaluable in the context of health care or clinical studies, but not so easy to do. That could soon change thanks to new, miniaturized sensors developed by researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering that, when mounted directly on a tooth and communicating wirelessly with a mobile device, can transmit information on glucose, salt and alcohol intake. In research to be published soon in the journal Advanced Materials, researchers note that future adaptations of these sensors could enable the detection and recording of a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states.

Previous wearable devices for monitoring dietary intake suffered from limitations such as requiring the use of a mouth guard, bulky wiring, or necessitating frequent replacement as the sensors rapidly degraded. Tufts engineers sought a more adoptable technology and developed a sensor with a mere 2mm x 2mm footprint that can flexibly conform and bond to the irregular surface of a tooth. In a similar fashion to the way a toll is collected on a highway, the sensors transmit their data wirelessly in response to an incoming radiofrequency signal.

The sensors are made up of three sandwiched layers: a central “bioresponsive” layer that absorbs the nutrient or other chemicals to be detected, and outer layers consisting of two square-shaped gold rings. Together, the three layers act like a tiny antenna, collecting and transmitting waves in the radiofrequency spectrum. As an incoming wave hits the sensor, some of it is cancelled out and the rest transmitted back, just like a patch of blue paint absorbs redder wavelengths and reflects the blue back to our eyes.

Detecting And Measuring Nutrients

The sensor, however, can change its “color.” For example, if the central layer takes on salt, or ethanol, its electrical properties will shift, causing the sensor to absorb and transmit a different spectrum of radiofrequency waves, with varying intensity. That is how nutrients and other analytes can be detected and measured.

“In theory we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals – we are really limited only by our creativity,” said Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D., corresponding author and the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering at Tufts. “We have extended common RFID – radiofrequency ID – technology to a sensor package that can dynamically read and transmit information on its environment, whether it is affixed to a tooth, to skin, or any other surface.”

Use Of Nanotechnology In Orthodontic Treatment

The field of science and technology has seen radical advancements and one such progression in the field of material science is nanotechnology. Nanotechnology deals with structure at the Nano scale and is one of the most crucial advancements of the 21st century, due to its economic and scientific potential. With the advent of nanotechnology, it has been applied in various fields in orthodontics from the coating of the surface to the innovation of new materials.

What Are Nano Particles?
Nano particles are particles produced in a calculated manner that has a typical dimension of 1 to 100 nm and has properties that are not shared by particles which do not belong to the nanoscale particles with the same chemical structure.

Application Of Nanotechnology In Orthodontics
Nanotechnology is used in the field of orthodontics to sustain good oral health. Silver nanoparticles are used as antimicrobial agents in the manufacturing of cement and resin bases of dentures, root canal columns and orthodontic sealants. The antimicrobial property in the particles decreases the build-up of plaque around the brackets. With the help of nanotechnology, we can reduce the friction and scuffing that happens to the mouth because of the braces. Nanotechnology is being used to make braces more friction resistance while also maintaining transparency. Researchers are still working on using NiTi nanotechnology that can give the dental wire shape-memory and super flexible properties.

  • Nano Coatings in Arch Wires to Reduce Friction – Friction in the mouth is a major problem during orthodontic treatment. Nano coatings are used either on the bracket surface or NiTi wires to prevent abrasion.
  • Orthodontic Brackets – The material with which the bracket is made contains polysulfone with hard aluminia nanoparticles for strength, decreased friction and biocompatibility while maintaining the transparency of the bracket.
  • Nanoparticles Application as Antimicrobial Agent – Cavities and white spot lesions are common problems while undergoing orthodontic treatment due to the accumulation of plaque around the brackets. Silver, gold, silica, copper, nitrogen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles have been coated on both brackets to prevent tooth decay during orthodontic treatment.

Uses Of Nanoparticles In Dentistry
Nanoparticles have been used for administering local anesthesia, diagnosis and cure of oral cancer and dressing wounds. Nanoparticles are used in dental materials which are used for restoration and dental procedures. They react effectively with microbial membrane and provide a larger surface area for anti-microbial activity.

There has been a lot of exploration on the application of nanotechnology in orthodontics and there’s a lot more work which needs to be done. Extensive research and improvisation in the field of nanotechnology is constantly being done so that the clinical application is available at a fair price to both the orthodontist and the patients.

Author Bio:

Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and faculty member at Columbia University believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence.  As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile to his face. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing.

Blasting Dental Plaque With Microbubbles

Whether through an accident or a disease, teeth loss can cause many inconveniences. Dental implants such as crowns, however, have allowed people to overcome most of these and live a better quality of life.

But just like normal teeth, these dental implants require proper care and oral hygiene to prevent further complications, such as the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the implants. While the buildup of dental plaque sticks mainly to the crown, it also adheres to the exposed parts of the screw that holds the dental fixture in place, and these are much harder to clean because they contain microgrooves that make them fit better into the upper or lower jaw bones.

Hitoshi Soyama from Tohoku University and his team from Showa University in Japan conducted a study to look for better ways for dentists to remove this plaque and prevent complications. The team wanted to study the efficiency of a cavitating jet, where high-speed fluid is injected by a nozzle through water to create very tiny bubbles of vapor. When these bubbles collapse, they produce strong shockwaves that are able to remove contaminants.

The Cavitating Jet

The team compared the cleaning effect of a cavitating jet to that of a water jet, which has been used for a long time to remove plaque from dental implants to keep them clean. They grew a biofilm over three days within the mouths of four volunteers, then proceeded to clean that with the two different methods, measuring the amount of plaque remaining at several time intervals.

While there was little difference between the amounts of dental plaque removed by both methods after one minute of cleaning, that changed after longer exposure. After three minutes, the cavitating jet had removed about a third more plaque than the water jet did, leaving little plaque stuck to the implant at the end of the experiment. The cavitating jet was also able to remove the plaque not only from the root section of the screws, but also from the harder-to-reach crest section, though to a lesser extent.

“Conventional methods cannot clean plaques on the surface of dental implants very well, so this new method could give dentists a new tool to better manage these fixtures which are becoming more common,” says Soyama.

Previous research has shown that water flow exerts shear stress to remove the biofilm. In addition to this shear effect, the cavitating jet also produces a considerable force when the bubbles collapse that is able to remove particles from the biofilm and carry them away. The researchers suggest that the two processes probably work in synergy to make the cavitating jet superior to the water jet when cleaning the plaque off the irregular surface of dental implants.