Tooth wear - ranked as the third most important dental condition after cavities and gum disease - is the premature wearing of teeth due to the softening of the dental enamel from dietary or gastric acids, combined with wear and tear. It occurs when the outer layer or enamel of the tooth slowly dissolves. This can lead to changes in the shape or appearance of teeth, and they can become sensitive when eating or drinking cold food and drinks. At its worst, the tooth structure can gradually wear away and severe erosive tooth wear reduces quality of life and can mean complex and costly procedures.
The consumption of acidic food and drink is a leading cause of this. Tooth wear is preventable and changes to consumption habits can help stop people from getting it or making it worse. A study published in the journal Clinical Oral Investigations reveals that sugar-sweetened acidic drinks, such as soft drinks, are also the common factor between obesity and tooth wear among adults. Scientists from King's College London found that being overweight or obese was associated with having tooth wear. Significantly, they also found that the increased consumption of sugary soft drinks may be a leading cause of the erosion of tooth enamel and dentine in obese patients.
With data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004, the researchers analyzed a representative sample of survey participants of 3,541 patients in the United States. BMI and the level of tooth wear were the exposure and outcome measurements in the analysis. The intake of sugar-sweetened acidic drinks was recorded through two non-consecutive 24-hour recall interviews where the patients were asked to provide details of diet intake across these two days. "It is the acidic nature of some drinks such as carbonated drinks and acidic fruit juices that leads to tooth wear," says lead author Dr. Saoirse O'Toole from King's College London. "This is an important message for obese patients who are consuming calories through acidic sugar sweetened drinks. These drinks may be doing damage to their body and their teeth. There is also an important message for dentists. We should be asking our patients who are obese and have tooth wear what calories they are drinking as this may be having an effect on their full bodies - not just their teeth.”
Cavity Prevention To Reduce Tooth Decay
Dental caries - tooth decay - is caused by bacteria on the tooth surface feeding on carbohydrates, then making acids as waste. These acids destroy the protective tooth enamel and the dentin layer beneath it. If not halted or reversed, this leads to a cavity. Researchers at UC San Francisco revealed in Advances in Dental Research that a scientifically-based approach that includes a tooth-decay risk assessment, aggressive preventive measures and conservative restorations can dramatically reduce decay in community dental practices.
This supports earlier research demonstrating positive results of the assessment and treatment method in a university setting, with the potential to transform dental care for high-risk patients at a lower cost to both patients and dental clinics and practices. "We put the 2012 UCSF clinical study into the real world and showed it works," says lead author Peter Rechmann, DMD, Ph.D., professor of preventive and restorative dental sciences in the UCSF School of Dentistry. "The patients at high-caries risk who used prescription products went down significantly over time in their risk level. Those in the control group also reduced their risk to a lesser degree, simply by using over-the-counter products that also protect teeth and affect the bacteria. More research is needed to see if the products and treatment administered to this group function in the way we speculate, and if so, they might be made easily available to dental patients. Doing so can change the whole picture of caries control."
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With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.