Dealing With Dental Anxiety

For most of us, a trip to the dentist or orthodontist is a minor but necessary chore. For other people, however, it can be a waking nightmare. Their fears can make them nervous and jittery while in the chair. In severe cases, it can keep them away completely. This creates a vicious cycle in which avoiding regular care makes dental problems worse. This only increases the worry these people may feel.

There are many reasons why you might be apprehensive about going to the dentist. You may be afraid of needles and drills. You could be nervous about feeling a lack of control while having to sit still. It’s possible that you had a bad experience and are not excited about potentially repeating it.

If fear is keeping you from getting the regular care your teeth need, take a close look at the accompanying guide. It contains key tips for overcoming the nervousness you might experience at the dentist’s office. For example, you can try meditation or other relaxation techniques to keep you calm. Whatever reasons you may have, confronting your dental anxiety is good for your overall oral health.

Infographic created by Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics

</strong><br /><br /><a href=’https://www.slideshare.net/burrowortho/dealing-with-dental-anxiety’><img src=’https://image.slidesharecdn.com/burrow-orthodontics-anxiety-guide-180917121615/95/dealing-with-dental-anxiety-1-638.jpg?cb=1537186638′ alt=” 540px border=’0′ /></a></p> Infographic </a> </strong> created by <strong><a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.charlotteorthodontists.com/”>Burrow & Welchel Orthodontics</a>

How To Tell If You Are Grinding Your Teeth

You may do everything right when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Yet even if you brush and floss twice a day and watch what you eat or drink, there’s only so much you can do. Some of the worst damage you can do to your teeth may be happening without you even being aware of it. You might wake up in the morning with a sore jaw and think you just slept in an odd position, but this could be a sign that you grind your teeth while you sleep. This condition, also known as bruxism, affects approximately 10 percent of adults.

Bruxism is characterized by the teeth grinding against one another during sleep. People who experience bruxism tend to sleep with their jaws clenched tight, and involuntary muscle movements cause their teeth to grind against one another. In some cases, people who experience bruxism may even grind their teeth subconsciously while they are awake. The following infographic details everything you need to know about teeth grinding.

Teeth Grinding Guide

Teeth Grinding Guide created by Schererville Family Dentistry.

8 Ways To Relieve And Prevent Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth can be very annoying especially when they start to interfere with your life. You can’t eat food that you want and have to take extreme care in choosing food to consume for fear of triggering the pain. Here are several steps to relieve and prevent teeth sensitivity.

  1. Choose The Right Toothpaste

The most obvious thing to do is to choose toothpaste made especially for sensitive teeth. There are many to choose from in the market. While such toothpastes might not work immediately, they’re definitely a step in the right direction. The important thing to remember is to keep using them. Don’t just use a tube and stop after it’s finished. It takes a while for teeth to get used to the toothpaste you’re using and for the medication to take effect.

  1. Rinse With Salt Water

A saltwater rinse has also been known to relieve the pain of sensitive teeth. Salt is an effective anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. You can gargle salt water twice in a day to relieve the pain. Honey and warm water is also another alternative. Honey is widely known to be a natural antibacterial and is used for wound management. It can help with the healing process and reduce inflammation.

Gargling hydrogen peroxide also helps because this compound is used as an antiseptic and disinfectant. It is used to clean cuts and burns to prevent infection. A mouthful of water and hydrogen peroxide solution can help reduce gum swelling and help it to heal faster.

  1. Switch To Soft Bristled Brush

Your toothbrush could also be a factor in your teeth sensitivity. Maybe switching from a hard bristle to a soft bristled brush can make all the difference. The manner in your brushing can also affect your teeth sensitivity. Brushing too vigorously could trigger pain receptors in the teeth. Make sure also to brush your teeth for two to three minutes. This will ensure that the active ingredients in the toothpaste take full effect.

  1. Avoid Acidic Food And Beverages

It’s also wise to avoid acidic food and beverages. Red wine, soda, fruit juices, pickled food, and fruits like oranges can greatly exacerbate your teeth sensitivity. These attack the enamel in your teeth causing pain. It’s best to avoid these food and drinks or at least minimize their intake. Brushing your teeth about 10 minutes after eating them will reduce their effect as well.

  1. Wear A Mouthguard To Stop Grinding

If you suffer from bruxism or teeth grinding, this can also aggravate teeth sensitivity. It is best to put a stop to it before it causes any further damage. Teeth grinding wears away the protective enamel of the teeth and exposes the nerve endings. The usual solution is wearing a mouth guard as you sleep or changing your position at night.

  1. Avoid Excessive Teeth Bleaching

Another culprit of your teeth sensitivity might be because of excessive teeth bleaching. More and more people are obsessed with achieving the Hollywood pearly whites. The treatment usually targets the enamel of the teeth to make them lighter. The pain usually goes away after the procedure but it’s best to talk to your dentist when you feel pain because they might be able to do something about it.

  1. Beware Of Gum Disease

Gum disease can also contribute to sensitive teeth pain. Receding gums expose the nerve endings at the base of the teeth which cause pain when they come in contact with something hot or cold – or even by hard brushing. Addressing this issue with your dentist can help relieve the pain of sensitive teeth.

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The best cure is prevention, as they say in the medical field. Preventing teeth sensitivity greatly depends on practicing good dental hygiene. Make sure to brush your teeth regularly using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Flossing also helps in the overall gum health. Using sensitizing toothpaste on your teeth right before you sleep can also help reduce sensitivity.

Author Bio:

Kerry Brooks, driven by the passion for blogging, loves to write about health care and beauty tips. She is currently working for mycomfortcaredental.com, Idaho’s #1 leader in Sedation Dentistry providing the best service in East Idaho.

The Connections Between Gum Disease And Overall Health

If you’re serious about your health, you likely spend a lot of time making sure your lifestyle choices are wise ones. That probably means you’re paying close attention to what you’re eating, getting enough exercise and sleeping regular hours. Yet for all of your smart decisions regarding your lifestyle, you may be doing yourself a disservice if you neglect to take care of your teeth. That’s because gum disease can have some surprising connections to your overall health. In fact, failing to care for your teeth and gums can lead to serious health problems.

For example, the bacteria that can develop in your mouth without proper dental hygiene can find their way into your bloodstream. This can lead to infections and a weakening of your blood vessels, increasing your risk of stroke. Periodontal disease also has been linked to other health complications including low birth weight, diabetes and even cancer. No matter how healthy the rest of your lifestyle is, taking care of your teeth and gums is not optional. Read the accompanying guide for more information about how your oral health can influence your overall health, along with some tips for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

 

</strong><br /><br /><a href=’https://www.slideshare.net/rosenorthodontics/the-connections-between-gum-disease-overall-health’><img src=’https://image.slidesharecdn.com/jrosenortho-gumdisease-guide-180501174607/95/the-connections-between-gum-disease-overall-health-1-638.jpg?cb=1525196832′ alt=” 540px border=’0′ /></a></p>Infographic </a> </strong> created by <strong><a target=”_blank” href=”https://jrosenortho.com/”>Rosen Orthodontics</a>

Can Young Children’s Oral Bacteria Predict Obesity?

A study describing the results of weight gain trajectories in early childhood related to the composition of oral bacteria of two-year-old children recently appeared in the journal Scientific Reports. The study suggests that this understudied aspect of a child’s microbiota – the collection of microorganisms including beneficial bacteria residing in the mouth – could serve as an early indicator for childhood obesity. “One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese,” says Kateryna Makova, Pentz Professor of Biology and senior author of the paper. “If we can find early indicators of obesity in young children, we can help parents and physicians take preventive measures.”

The study is part of a larger project with researchers and clinicians at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center called INSIGHT, led by Ian Paul, professor of pediatrics at the Medical Center, and Leann Birch, professor of foods and nutrition at the University of Georgia. The INSIGHT trial includes nearly 300 children and tests whether a responsive parenting intervention during a child’s early life can prevent the development of obesity. It is also designed to identify biological and social risk factors for obesity. “In this study, we show that a child’s oral microbiota at two years of age is related to their weight gain over their first two years after birth,” says Makova.

The human digestive tract is filled with a diverse array of microorganisms, including beneficial bacteria that help ensure proper digestion and support the immune system. This “microbiota” shifts as a person’s diet changes and can vary greatly among individuals. Variation in gut microbiota has been linked to obesity in some adults and adolescents, but the potential relationship between oral microbiota and weight gain in children had not been explored prior to this study. “The oral microbiota is usually studied in relation to periodontal disease, and periodontal disease has in some cases been linked to obesity,” said Sarah Craig, a postdoctoral scholar in biology at Penn State and first author of the paper. “Here, we explored any potential direct associations between the oral microbiota and child weight gain. Rather than simply noting whether a child was overweight at the age of two, we used growth curves from their first two years after birth, which provides a more complete picture of how the child is growing. This approach is highly innovative for a study of this kind, and gives greater statistical power to detect relationships.”

Common Bacteria Groups

Among 226 children from central Pennsylvania, the oral microbiota of those with rapid infant weight gain – a strong risk factor for childhood obesity – was less diverse, meaning it contained fewer groups of bacteria. These children also had a higher ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes, two of the most common bacteria groups found in the human microbiota. “A healthy person usually has a lot of different bacteria within their gut microbiota,” said Craig. “This high diversity helps protect against inflammation or harmful bacteria and is important for the stability of digestion in the face of changes to diet or environment. There’s also a certain balance of these two common bacteria groups, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, that tends to work best under normal healthy conditions, and disruptions to that balance could lead to deregulation in digestion.”

Lower diversity and higher Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio in gut microbiota are sometimes observed as a characteristic of adults and adolescents with obesity. However, the researchers did not see a relationship of weight gain with either of these measures in gut microbiota of two-year-olds, suggesting that the gut microbiota may not be completely established at two years of age and may still be undergoing many changes. “There are usually dramatic changes to an individual’s microbiota as they develop during early childhood,” said Makova. “Our results suggest that signatures of obesity may be established earlier in oral microbiota than in gut microbiota. If we can confirm this in other groups of children outside of Pennsylvania, we may be able to develop a test of oral microbiota that could be used in clinical care to identify children who are at risk for developing obesity. This is particularly exciting because oral samples are easier to obtain than those from the gut, which require fecal samples.”

Interestingly, weight gain in children was also related to diversity of their mother’s oral microbiota. This could reflect a genetic predisposition of the mother and child to having a similar microbiota, or the mother and child having a similar diet and environment. “It could be a simple explanation like a shared diet or genetics, but it might also be related to obesity,” said Makova. “We don’t know for sure yet, but if there is an oral microbiome signature linked to the dynamics of weight gain in early childhood, there is a particular urgency to understand it. Now we are using additional techniques to look at specific species of bacteria – rather than larger taxonomic groups of bacteria – in both the mothers and children to see whether specific bacteria species influence weight gain and the risk of obesity.”

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.”