Consider the Evidence: Fluoride For Healthy Futures

By: Mirissa D. Price, Huffington Contributor

[OPINION]: Fluoride represents a major step toward not just treatment, but also prevention in oral health. Fluoride for healthy futures! The Oral Surgery DC Team

On February 1, 2016, in the late hours of the night, my jaw fell to the floor. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing: 

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And I truly hoped that none of the viewers would believe what they were seeing, either. Because it wasn’t based on evidence – not the kind prefaced by the word ‘science.’

And though a year has gone by since this Dr. Oz episode aired, I just couldn’t let the date pass without a call to action. To all readers, to all viewers, to you Ms. Brockovich, and you Dr. Oz, I don’t ask that you change your mind. Not necessarily. But I do ask that you read this statement drafted with a number of my HSDM 2019 DMD Candidate colleagues, and consider the evidence – the scientific evidence. Because, as a 2019 DMD Candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a future pediatric dentist, I care about your health today and in the future; I care about our communities’ health, and the health of our children, and I care that we make the right choices for everyone today. So, for just a moment, consider . . .

Harvard School of Dental Medicine practices dentistry under a philosophy of evidence-based medicine, providing patients with an up-to-date and research-based quality of care. Unfortunately, the antifluoridation segment on the Dr. Oz show on February 1, 2016, left much to be wanted regarding evidence-based care. In a one-sided depiction of Erin Brockovich’s anti-fluoridation rhetoric, this episode gravely misrepresented the strong foundation of research in support of community water fluoridation. In doing so, this episode not only threatened a public health measure supported by over one hundred health organizations, including the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and American Dental Association, but threatened the oral health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable communities in our nation.

Community water fluoridation took root in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945. Soon, with a capacity to flow beyond the barriers to care dividing our society, community water fluoridation flourished as one of the greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century. Though only 37% of adults will actually visit a dentist in a given year, as of 2012, 200 million people in the United States received service from fluoridated water systems. These 200 million individuals thus had access to not only the remineralizing benefits of fluoride at the tooth surface and corresponding reduction in dental caries, but the associated increase in life satisfaction, employment success, and social confidence.

Unfortunately, Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, misrepresented the impact of fluoride. She alluded to health risks of fluoride toxicity, citing the decreasing fluoride concentration in water from 1.2 to 0.7 mg/L as evidence of her claims. She further instilled fear in products vital to sustained oral health, including fluoridated toothpaste and natural foods. However, Ms. Brockovich failed to mention that the established safe fluoride levels are less than one-half the Maximum Concentration Limit, and all created within standards of the American Water Works Association and NSF International. Further, she fell short in factually supporting her claims of grandeur, misrepresenting the prevalence of dental fluorosis when this condition, in severe state, only presents in fewer than 1% of the population. The evidence in favor of fluoride is of such strength that even pediatricians are seeking to provide topical fluoride application in the pediatric medical home.

Fluoride represents a major step towards not just treatment but prevention in oral health. The use of fluoridated toothpaste and community water fluoridation has reduced the prevalence of dental caries from 90 to 30% among those age 12-17 years since the 1960s. Caries in adults have also seen significant decline since the introduction of community water fluoridation from 18 affected teeth on average among 35-44 year old adults in the 1960s to 10 affected teeth on average among 35-49 year olds in 1999-2004. As Americans are living longer, so, too, must our teeth, and scientific evidence overwhelmingly concurs that community water fluoridation is a vital component to sustaining our oral health and quality of life.

Thus, with respect for all voices and concern, the dental-medical community asks that the Dr. Oz Show and its viewers consider the scientific evidence in support of community water fluoridation as a strong and guiding voice of its own. Our choices today regarding community water fluoridation most certainly will affect the oral health and quality of life for our children tomorrow.

This statement was drafted as a collaboration of 2019 DMD Candidates at Harvard School of Dental Medicine as part of the Global and Public Health Curriculum, and does not represent an official response statement of HSDM.

Specific contribution is attributed to Jacquelyn Chou, 2019 DMD Candidate Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Justin Montenegro, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Deepti Shroff, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Edirin Sido, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; Mirissa D. Price, 2019 DMD Candidate, Harvard School of Dental Medicine; and additional 2019 DMD Candidates at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

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The doctor said she would live in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, crippled by pain; that was thirteen years ago. Instead, Mirissa D. Price is a 2019 DMD candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, spreading pain-free smiles, writing through her nights, and, once again, walking through her days.

Article from: http://buff.ly/2eZj16K

End of fillings in sight as scientists find Alzheimer’s drug makes teeth grow back

The days of fillings could be over after scientists find a drug stimulates stem cells in teeth

 

By Sarah Knapton, Telegraph❗️ Fillings could be sent to the history books after scientists discovered that a drug, already in trials for Alzheimer’s patients, can encourage tooth regrowth and repair cavities! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Fillings could be consigned to history after scientists discovered that a drug already trialed in Alzheimer’s patients can encourage tooth regrowth and repair cavities.

Researchers at King’s College London found that the drug Tideglusib stimulates the stem cells contained in the pulp of teeth so that they generate new dentine – the mineralized material under the enamel.

Teeth already have the capability of regenerating dentine if the pulp inside the tooth becomes exposed through a trauma or infection, but can only naturally make a very thin layer, and not enough to fill the deep cavities caused by tooth decay.

An image showing repair after four weeks (left) and six weeks (right)

But Tideglusib switches off an enzyme called GSK-3 which prevents dentine from carrying on forming.

Scientists showed it is possible to soak a small biodegradable sponge with the drug and insert it into a cavity, where it triggers the growth of dentine and repairs the damage within six weeks.

The tiny sponges are made out of collagen so they melt away over time, leaving only the repaired tooth.

Professor Paul Sharpe, lead author of the study, of the Dental Institute, from King’s College London, said: “The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine.

“In addition, using a drug that has already been tested in clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease provides a real opportunity to get this dental treatment quickly into clinics.”

Currently, dentists use man-made cements or fillings, such as calcium and silicon-based products, to treat larger cavities and fill holes in teeth.

But this cement remains in the tooth and fails to disintegrate, meaning that the normal mineral level of the tooth is never completely restored.

However, the new technique could reduce the need for fillings of cements, which are prone to infection and often need replacing a number of times.

When fillings fail or infection occurs, dentists have to remove and fill an area that is larger than what is affected, and after multiple treatments the tooth may eventually need to be extracted.

Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation: “This is an extremely interesting and novel approach which shows great promise and we will look forward to it being translated into clinical application that could undoubtedly be a progressive step in the treatment of dental disease.

“While fillings have remained highly effective in repairing large cavities, they are susceptible to wear-and-tear and can occasionally be in need of repair and replacement. This presents problems as the dentist could have to remove and fill a larger area each time and after numerous treatments the tooth may then have to be extracted.

“Creating a more natural way for the tooth to repair itself could not only eliminate these issues, but also be a far less invasive treatment option for patients. With dental phobia still being very common, using a natural way to stimulate the renewal of dentine could be an especially comforting proposal for these groups, for which undergoing treatment can often be a cause great anxiety.”

The procedure has so far only been used in mouse teeth, but it was shown to ‘fill the whole injury site’.

And Tideglusib has already been shown to be safe in clinical trials of patients with Alzheimer’s disease so scientists say that the treatment could be fast-tracked into dental practices.

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Article from: http://buff.ly/2tOKxq6

LATEST TECHNOLOGY MAKES DENTAL IMPLANTS EASIER FOR PATIENTS – AND SURGEONS

By Dental Asia

🎉 Good news!! The latest technology will make dental implants easier for patients and surgeons, which means no incisions, minimal discomfort and little disruption! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Dental implants have come a long way. New technology makes it possible to place these tooth root substitutes with no incisions, minimal discomfort, and little disruption to the patient’s life. The latest in dental implant coatings, nanostructured titanium, is even stronger and heals even faster than implants using conventional coatings.

An article in the current issue of the Journal of Oral Implantology reports on the use of this nanostructured titanium and techniques that can shorten the treatment time for a patient. These implants should also decrease the risk of implant failure and disease complications.

When patients need a dental implant, they naturally want their new tooth quickly and with as little pain as possible. Both can be achieved with the latest advances in implant technology. Guided surgery allows an implant to be placed quickly without incisions, and new implant materials let the surgeon set a crown on the implant straight away.

This case report used the latest technology to even greater effect. In this case, the patient needed an implant to replace a missing front tooth. The surgeon successfully combined model-guided surgery with immediate placement of a nanostructured titanium implant, a final abutment, and the tooth.

The nanostructured titanium integrates with the bone faster, is stronger, and is less susceptible to disease than conventional implant materials. The model-guided surgery is highly accurate yet less expensive than computer-based techniques. By using a thin acupuncture needle, the surgeon was able to create the model without anesthetizing the patient. By keeping the original root structure, the surgeon was able to lessen the risk of gum recession.

The combination resulted in a successful implant, without the receding gums often visible when an implant patient smiles. The flapless surgery involved less pain compared to incision-based techniques. The faster process reduced disruption in the patient’s eating and other daily living habits, and discomfort was minimal.

The author concluded that these types of implants have great promise and that nanostructured titanium is particularly appropriate for immediate placement of the implant and tooth. The author noted: “The patient was pleased with the aesthetic result, the improvement in function, and the ease of maintenance.”

Article From: http://www.dentalasia.net/en/news-archive/latest-technology-makes-dental-implants-easier-for-patients-and-surgeons/335

Busboys and Poets in Anacostia May Not Open Until 2018

Rendering of planned Busboys and Poets in Anacostia

by Nena Perry-Brown

Six months ago, construction began at the future site of the first Busboys and Poets restaurant east of the Anacostia River. However, it doesn’t look like the restaurant will open this year as originally planned.

The building at 2004-2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE (map) is currently being built out by nonprofit partner and landlord the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative; however, construction is running roughly three months behind schedule, owner-restaurateur Andy Shallal informed UrbanTurf last week.

2004-2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE

Work on the space that Busboys will occupy was supposed to begin in June once the Collaborative completed their work. Now, factoring in the delay, Shallal and his team likely won’t begin their work until September, at which time it would take an additional 4-5 months to deliver the restaurant. The delay and construction timeline puts an opening date closer to late December-February 2018.

Article From: http://buff.ly/2tkXeMj

Top 10 New Technologies in Dentistry

By 123Dentist

Check out the top 10 new technologies in dentistry treatment: VLscope, digital X-Rays, invisalign, laser dentistry and more!http://buff.ly/2vcchbI

If there’s a need, we are right here! Check out our website and learn more about out oral surgery services! http://buff.ly/2vbKSXL. The Oral Surgery DC Team

The field of dentistry is constantly evolving and changing to best suit patient needs. 123Dentist is always on the lookout for new and emerging technology to make our patients’ experience as comfortable as possible. Here is just a few of the different technologies that 123Dentist practices use to ensure we provide world-class service to all our patients:

1. VELscope—VELscope is a special type of light that a dentist will shine in a patient’s mouth to detect any abnormalities. This new form of technology is effectively used to detect early forms of cancer or disease during an oral cancer screening.

2. Digital X-Rays—Digital X-rays are faster and contain less radiation than traditional X-rays. When a patient has a digital X-ray done, the image appears on the computer in a matter of seconds. Your dentist can then zoom into the image to better assess and educate the patient regarding their oral health. Digital X-rays are also less harmful for patients as they contain up to 90% less radiation compared to traditional X-rays.

3. Invisalign—Invisalign are clear, practically invisible braces that can gently straighten your teeth. They provide an effective and comfortable way to straighten your smile without the inconvenience of wearing heavy, metal braces. Invisalign braces are easy to take out for cleaning and don’t require a restriction on what type of foods to eat. They get the job done in less time with less hassle.

4. Laser Dentistry—Lasers are used to improve efficiency and eliminate discomfort in a number dental procedures, including filling cavities, reducing tooth sensitivity, getting rid of tumors, and whitening. Laser dentistry is fast, painless, and can effectively eliminate any form of bacteria during the procedure to avoid any further complications or problems.

5. Dental Implants—Dental implants are screw-replacements for the root portion of missing teeth. Implants are used to restore healthy smiles when patients have missing teeth. Implants are effective because they can replace missing teeth, while still giving the patient the feel and look of a natural tooth.

6. HealOzone—HealOzone is a fast, easy and painless way to eliminate tooth decay. HealOzone is effective because it contains ozone (O3), which is a common, natural gas that effectively kills bacteria and fungus. HealOzone is a great tool to detect and get rid of any early signs of tooth decay before it progresses to a more advanced stage.

7. DIAGNOdent— DIAGNOdent is a new, state of the art device that dentists use to detect cavities that are hiding in places regular x-rays can’t find. It ensures that your mouth has been thoroughly checked for early signs of cavities to avoid you having to spend more in the future if the cavities progress and expand.

8. Intraoral Camera—The intraoral camera is a tool that dentists use to gain precise and well-defined pictures of hard to see places within a patient’s mouth. The camera also allows dentist to show these images to patients while assessing and educating the patient’s needs. This new form of technology allows dentist to conduct a thorough checkup of your mouth and better assess their patient’s oral care needs.

9. Zoom! Whitening—Zoom! Whitening is a new, state of the art whitening treatment that gives our patients fast and easy results. In just one appointment, Zoom! Whitening can make a significant change in a person’s smile and can make their teeth up to eight shades whiter.

10. Nitrous Oxide and (Intravenous) IV Sedation—Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, can calm a patient down to a point that they are relaxed but can still interact with their dentist. On the other hand, IV sedation puts a patient to sleep completely so that they are unaware of what happened during their dental session. This is usually recommended for patients who are fearful of going to the dentist or for procedures that are painful such as wisdom teeth extraction.

Article From: https://www.123dentist.com/top-10-new-technologies-in-dentistry/

Poor oral health contributes to 6 common diseases

By Lori Alton, NaturalHealth365

😳 Did you know chronic inflammation of the gums can affect your entire body?

Here are the top 6 diseases you can contract from poor oral health. The Oral Surgery DC Team

(NaturalHealth365) “Giving up junk food.” “Getting off the sofa.” “Quitting smoking.” These are the common, and beneficial, lifestyle changes that many people adopt when they become serious about avoiding heart disease and cancer. But, what about poor oral health? (does your doctor appreciate the danger?)

I understand: making an appointment with a licensed dental hygienist just doesn’t have the same sense of urgency as seeing your cardiologist for a checkup – but, maybe it should. When it comes to preventing chronic, life-threatening diseases, maintaining good oral health may be one of the more important things you can do.

Sadly, there are literally millions and millions of people that walk uninformed about how gum disease can set the stage for six serious diseases. Keep in mind, these horrific health problems are completely avoidable – when given the right information. (keep reading to learn more)

Warning: Chronic inflammation of the gums can affect the entire body

Researchers and scientists now believe that inflammation – which can include the chronic inflammation that accompanies poor oral health – is at the root of most chronic diseases. In fact, the potentially life-threatening conditions associated with periodontal disease include diabetes, stroke, cancer, serious respiratory infections, heart disease and obesity.

Periodontal disease occurs in two primary forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis involves inflammation that affects the soft tissue surrounding teeth – namely, the gums. Symptoms include reddened gums, swollen gums, bad breath and bleeding upon brushing or flossing. If untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious condition in which pathogenic bacteria progressively damage the periodontal ligaments and jaw bone and cause tooth loss.

The main culprit behind periodontal disease is plaque – a sticky, bacteria-laden film that forms on teeth and gums in response to starches and sugars in foods. Plaque eventually hardens into tartar, which is so resistant to brushing that it can only be removed via professional cleaning by a qualified, dental hygienist.

Plaque and tartar – and the bacteria they harbor – can build up and eventually cause destruction of gums and bone, along with loss of teeth. However, it is not just teeth and gums that are affected. Researchers are finding that periodontal disease carries grave implications for the entire body.

Recent studies link poor oral health with obesity, stroke and heart disease

The inflammatory cytokines that accompany periodontitis can contribute to obesity by raising levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation which causes fat cells to accumulate more fat – while burning less energy.

This fact of metabolism was reinforced by a 2016 study, in which researchers found that risk of obesity was higher in people with a lower daily frequency of tooth brushing and use of secondary oral products (such as dental floss).

In addition, two 2016 studies found that participants who had been diagnosed with periodontitis had a higher risk of stroke – as well as a higher risk of dying from all causes, including heart disease.

In 2015, a 26-year study showed that inflamed gums were associated with stroke risk, leading the researchers to point out that their results highlighted the important role of oral health personnel in the prevention of stroke.

To be clear: periodontal disease is strongly associated with increased risk of heart disease. Fortunately, it appears that the risk can be reduced with proper treatment. Researchers are finding that lowering systemic inflammation decreases the risk of atherosclerosis and inflammation-linked cardiovascular events such as heart attack – as well as risk of stroke.

Beware: Periodontal disease will increase your risk of cancer

In a prospective study involving over 48,000 male health professionals aged 40 to 75, researchers found that participants with a history of periodontal disease had an increased risk of cancer – particularly of the lung, kidney and pancreas. The study, which was conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School and published in Lancet Oncology, revealed that the association persisted even for participants who had never smoked cigarettes.

Researchers called for more study, noting that periodontal disease could merely be a marker of a susceptible immune system – or could be a factor directly affecting cancer risk. Either way, the association is concerning.

As if this weren’t enough reason to take periodontal disease seriously, a 2016 study published in the International Journal of Cancer showed that periodontal disease increases the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Periodontal disease has serious implications for diabetics

Scientists now know that periodontal disease can worsen the severity of diabetes, and even contribute to its onset. A study involving participants with type 2 diabetes showed that severe periodontitis was strongly linked with increased risk of poor blood sugar control.

And, the conditions seem to be interrelated. For example, studies show that people with diabetes who control their blood sugar are at lower risk of developing periodontal disease than those with poorer glucose control – a very significant finding.

By the way, treating periodontal infection and reducing oral inflammation in diabetic patients causes significant improvements in hemoglobin A1c – a long-term measurement of blood sugar control. Simply put, improving dental health helps to prevent the complications and consequences associated with diabetes.

Gum disease can set the stage for respiratory infections – including pneumonia

As strange as it sounds, gum disease can even affect your ability – or lack thereof – to fight off respiratory infections.

A form of pneumonia that affects elderly adults occurs more often when dental health is poor. Researchers believe this is a result of periodontal bacteria in the secretions of the mouth and pharynx being aspirated into the lungs.

Interestingly, a six-month Japanese study of aging adults showed that only one out of 98 participants developed a respiratory infection when the group was under the care of dental hygienists. In marked contrast, 9 out of 92 people – almost 10 percent – who did not get dental care came down with respiratory infections.

Natural compounds can treat gum disease and support oral health

Fortunately, natural substances can be used as effective oral topical agents to treat periodontal disease.

Studies have shown that catechins in green tea extract are antibacterial against S. mutans, one of the primary pathogens behind tooth decay. Green tea extract also inhibits the “stickiness” of bacteria – making them less apt to cling to teeth – while inhibiting production of amylase, which bacteria employ to break starches down to sugars.

Topically applied aloe vera can help soothe and heal inflamed gum tissues – while fighting pathogenic bacteria. In one promising 2016 study, researchers credited aloe vera with preventing and curing gingivitis.

The unique fizzing action of hydrogen peroxide combats oral bacteria that are difficult to reach with conventional brushing and flossing. Studies have shown that applying diluted hydrogen peroxide to the gums of patients with periodontitis can cause significant improvements.

Other natural techniques to treat gum disease include gargling with Himalayan sea salt, “oil pulling” with coconut oil, and the use of essential oils, vitamin C with quercetin and herbal mouthwashes – designed to be antibacterial and antiviral.

Article From: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/oral-health-inflammation-2250.html

What would a month without sugar mean to your child’s teeth?

By Campaign Dental Health 

What would a month without sugar mean to your child’s teeth? Check out the results of the project “A Month Without Sugar” and consider making a plan for yourself and your family. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Thanks in large part to national efforts to combat and prevent childhood obesity, we are all increasingly aware of the harms posed by the amount of sugar in our diets.

David Leonhardt of the New York Times proposes a new year’s resolution of sorts in A Month Without Sugar, an op-ed in which he describes his own efforts to avoid added sugars in his diet for a 30-day period. He shares that, although not easy, his sugar hiatus has helped reset his appetite for sweet foods and made him much more aware of insidious sources of unhealthy ingredients.

Healthy Food America and Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health projected the health impacts in a scenario where 15 of the country’s largest cities join the six that already have imposed taxes on sugary drinks. They estimated reductions in the rate of diabetes and the number of cases of obesity that would be prevented as a result of the tax’s effect on consumer choices, and they are significant.

Unfortunately, the analysis could not include the amount of dental disease that would be averted but we know that, especially when replaced by water with fluoride, reducing the consumption of sugary drinks reduces tooth decay.

Whether your concern is diabetes, dental health or healthy weight, drinking water with fluoride is easy, economical and good for you. Make 2017 the year you take the challenge to eliminate added sugars for one month and discover how that kick starts a new approach to your family’s health!

 

Article from: http://bit.ly/2uC7qjJ

The complete guide to great oral health

By Southcommon Dental, Oral Health Foundation

Besides brushing, here are other important steps to maintain great oral health. Check out the complete guide below. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Brushing

Regularly and thoroughly brushing your teeth is an important step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. When you brush your teeth, you remove the bacteria that promotes tooth decay and the plaque that can cause gum disease.

How to brush your teeth:

  • Angle your brush at 45 degrees relative to where your gums and teeth meet. Brush up and down with a gentle and circular massaging motion. Don’t scrub your teeth as gums that recede are often a result of years of brushing too hard.
  • Clean the entire surface of every tooth. Make sure you get the chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side.
  • Don’t rush the process. A thorough cleaning should take at least two minutes. Time yourself occasionally to make sure you are meeting the mark.
  • Pick a soft brush with rounded bristles. The exact size and shape should let you reach the teeth at the very back of your mouth. There are many different types of brushes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.

Interdental cleaning

Interdental cleaning removes plaque and bacteria that cannot be reached with tooth brushing alone. If you don’t regularly clean between your teeth you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surfaces, this allows plaque to build up.

Clean between your teeth at least once a day, either with dental floss or tape, interdental brushes or an electric water flosser, to ensure that plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar.

  • Hold the interdental brush between your thumb and forefinger. Gently place the brush through the gap between your teeth.
  • Do not force the brush head through the gap. If the brush splays or bends then it is too big – a smaller brush head will be needed.
  • Interdental brushes come in various sizes. It may be helpful to ask your dentist or hygienist to show you the correct sizes for your mouth.

Avoid certain substances

  • Harmful oral bacteria feeds on sugar. By reducing sugar intake, you can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. If you insist on eating sugary foods, try to keep it to mealtimes and do not brush immediately after.
  • Be wary of acidic foods and drinks. Acid strips tooth enamel of its minerals. Over time, enamel damage leaves the sensitive interior structure of teeth unprotected against cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to irritations of the tissues inside the mouth, including the tongue and slower healing and poor healing after dental or oral surgery.
  • Smoking also has harmful effects on your teeth. When you smoke, you interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells and affect the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. This leaves you more susceptible to infections and impairs blood flow to the gums.

Visit your dentist regularly

  • The body naturally builds up plaque and calculus and if it’s not removed, it embeds underneath the gum tissues and quietly causes periodontal disease. It doesn’t hurt but it silently produces enzymes that dissolve away the bones.
  • A little cavity can be managed with a simple filling. A big cavity becomes a big problem. In its biggest stage, it can cause suffering and swelling but also the loss of a tooth. Regular checkups with your dentist allow you to catch cavities before they turn into big problems.
  • There is a strong correlation between gum disease and heart disease. Sugar and starch on the teeth produces billions of bacteria that ends up in the blood stream. While bacteria normally exists in the mouth, gum disease increases the level of bacteria dramatically and it gets carried through the blood and can end up lodged in the heart and clog blood vessels.

Article from: http://bit.ly/2tGS6zh

Bottled Water or Tap? Considerations for your Choice

By Campaign Dental Health

Do you use bottled water or tap? Your decision should be made based on the amount of FLUORIDE in water. The Oral Surgery DC Team 

 

The New York Times published a fun interactive quiz in late October, Bottled Water or Tap: How Much Does Your Choice Matter? It takes the reader through a series of questions, mostly to gauge knowledge, but also to show us the environmental impact of our personal habits. It’s the kind of activity most of us avoid because, by the end, we’ll inevitably feel guilty.

Most health advocates promote drinking water over sugar sweetened beverages. Many urge tap water over bottled water. That’s the best way to benefit from the prevention provided by the fluoride that is added to community water systems serving about 75% of us. (Most bottled water does not contain the optimal level of fluoride to protect teeth.)

As a result of the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan and the fight to protect the safety of the water at Standing Rock, there is growing awareness of long-ignored water issues around the country, from basic water safety to something we now know as water poverty. The U.S. still has some of the safest drinking water on the planet, but eroding trust means that we are at risk of drinking less of it.

Taste and cultural customs also motivate many people to choose bottled water over tap. People coming to this country from places where the water was not safe, by necessity, drank only bottled water. That is a custom that continues for generations after families have settled here. And, safe though it may be, water in some places simply doesn’t taste good.

And then there is this. Soda companies invest millions of dollars in campaigns to defeat soda taxes that are designed to discourage people from buying and consuming sugar sweetened beverages. (They have also funded successful efforts to influence health organizations.) These taxes are being imposed more widely to help abate the dramatic increase we are experiencing in obesity and Type 2 diabetes, especially among children. The rates of these diseases are highest in the very populations that the industry targets most – low income neighborhoods and racial and ethnic minorities.

Back to the quiz: the environmental impact of manufacturing, transporting and disposing of our plastic bottles is a consideration that drives more and more people to carry refillable water bottles around.

So is bottled water a bad choice, the villain? There are lots of reasons why it isn’t as good at tap water for most of us.  However,  for people who are substituting water for soda, or people who whose water is decidedly unsafe, or people who are exploring whether or not to trust what comes from the tap, bottled water is a compromise that we live with until everyone’s right to healthful water is guaranteed.

 

Article from: http://bit.ly/2vMRARE

The Power of Sour on Your Teeth

By Media Planet

You know that weird coating you get on your teeth and tongue when you eat certain candies? Sour foods can be just as damaging to your teeth as sweets due to their high acidity! Learn more about the damage they can cause. The Oral Surgery DC Team 

It’s not a pretty picture

Sucking and chewing sour candies has become a popular and seemingly harmless treat, especially among children, teens and young adults.

In fact, the acid in sour candies weakens and wears away tooth enamel, which is essential to healthy teeth. In some cases, the damage can be very severe and lead to permanent tooth loss.

The hard facts about sour candies

  • In the past 20 years, candies mar keted to children have increasingly been of a “fruity” or “sour” variety.
  • Sour candies are very acidic, with a low pH level (see chart).
  • Some candy is so acidic it can actually burn gums and cheeks.
  • Acid weakens and wears away tooth enamel.
  • Teeth without protective enamel are prone to tooth decay.
  • Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes.
  • Holding the acid in your mouth by prolonged candy sucking or chewing continues the acid attack.

The signs of tooth erosion

  • You may not notice tooth erosion in its early stages. However, sensitivity and discoloration are early warning signs that can lead to more severe stages with continued acid attacks.
  • Warning signs of tooth erosion include:
  • Sensitivity occurs when tooth enamel wears away. You may feel a twinge of pain when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks.
  • Discoloration is visible as a slight yellow appearance on the tooth surface.
  • Transparency of the front teeth appears along the biting edges.
  • Rounding of teeth occurs along the surfaces and edges of the teeth.
  • Cracks and roughness appear along the edges of the teeth.
  • Dents (known as cupping) develop on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. At this severe stage, fillings may actually appear to rise up.
  • Tooth decay is caused by loss of the protective outermost layer of enamel.

How to protect your teeth

  • The best protection against tooth erosion is preventing acid attacks on your teeth. Eliminating or decreasing consumption of sour candies is the fi rst line of defense against potential permanent damage of your teeth.
  • Reduce or eliminate consumption of sour candies.
  • Don’t suck or chew sour candies for long periods of time. Ongoing sucking prolongs acid attacks on your teeth.
  • If you do eat a sour candy, swish your mouth with water, drink milk, or eat cheese afterwards to neutral – ize the acids.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to produce saliva which protects tooth enamel.
  • After eating sour candy or other acidic food or drinks, wait one hour before brushing teeth. Brushing right away increases the harmful effects of acid on teeth.
  • Ask your dentist about ways to reduce sensitivity or minimize enamel loss if erosion has begun.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to protect your teeth.

     

     

     

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