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.

     

     

     

    Article from: http://bit.ly/2uBQ9qw

Nine Steps to Take When Your Permanent Tooth Gets Knocked Out of Your Mouth

By Oral Answers

😬 Tooth knocked out? Immediately put it in milk since it will help the tooth survive longer. Then call us ASAP → (202) 610-0600 Have you ever had a tooth knocked out? Tell us your story!  The Oral Surgery DC Team

No matter how careful people are, there always seems to be a way to knock out a tooth. When a tooth gets knocked out, the technical name for this condition is called tooth avulsion. Unfortunately, when a tooth gets knocked out, panic ensues. There may be many people around who “know what to do” and want to help you save your tooth.

It is true that once a tooth gets knocked out, it can successfully be re-implanted and return to normal function. However the key lies in what happens during the critical period while the tooth is outside of your mouth. Here, I offer nine simple steps to take when your tooth gets knocked out to keep it healthy so that it can return to its favorite past-time of chewing delicious meals.

As a general rule, the sooner a tooth can get back into its socket inside the mouth, the better chance it has to survive long-term.

1. When a tooth gets knocked out, it is important to pick it up while only touching the crown of the tooth (the crown is the part of the tooth that is normally visible inside your mouth.)  If you can’t find the tooth try as hard as you can to find it.  Although aspiration rarely occurs, it is possible that the tooth could’ve been inadvertently breathed in by the accident victim.

2. Next, rinse off the tooth very gently with tap water, saliva (spit), or saline solution. It is important not to scrub the root of the tooth (the root is the part of the tooth that is normally hidden below the gums in your mouth and is more yellow than the crown.) Many people think it is important to scrub the tooth to get all of the germs off. However, if you scrub the tooth, you could scrub away the periodontal ligament or the cementum, which both help to hold the tooth in the socket. By scrubbing them away, you will reduce the chances of the tooth permanently re-attaching itself inside the mouth. Soap and chemicals such as bleach will damage the cells that are left on the tooth which could make successful re-implantation impossible.

3. Try to put the tooth gently back in its socket and steadily hold it there. Sometimes, people may not know exactly how to put the tooth back in or there may be doubts about how to put it back in. Other times, the person who had the tooth knocked out isn’t cooperative enough to allow the tooth to be re-implanted. In this case, go to step #4.

Before putting the tooth back in the mouth, make sure that you are dealing with a permanent tooth, you could end up damaging the developing permanent tooth if you try to re-implant a baby tooth back on top of it. If you’re not sure, it is best to not try to re-implant the tooth, simply go to step #4 below.

You also want to make sure that you have the whole tooth. If it fractured somewhere along the root, you might want to wait to have the dentist look at it first to see if the tooth can be saved. In this case, go to step #4 below.

4. If you can’t put the tooth back in for any reason, you need to put the tooth into an appropriate solution to keep it healthy. The goal is to keep the tooth moist. There are a variety of solutions that will work to store the tooth, however some are better than others.

The absolute best place to store a tooth is in a balanced salt solution.A good way to get a balanced salt solution is by purchasing the Save-A-Tooth Emergency Tooth Preserving System. Many schools and athletic facilities have the Save-A-Tooth or a similar system readily available in the event of an accident. You can learn more about tooth avulsion at this page.

The next best place to store the tooth is in milk because it is fairly biologically compatible with teeth and doesn’t contain too many bacteria. Milk has been proven to keep the periodontal ligament cells healthy in studies such as this one by Dr. Martin Trope.

You should avoid storing the tooth in pure water as this will cause the periodontal ligament cells to die. Another place to avoid storing the tooth is in your mouth since it contains a lot of bacteria, lacks the optimum electrolyte balance, and has an incompatible pH (acidity) for the periodontal ligament cells.

You should never dry the tooth off or store it in a towel or tissue since the cells on the root of the tooth need to remain wet in order to stay alive.

5. Go to the dentist. The dentist will be able to help you determine if the tooth is in good enough condition to return to full function. If the tooth looks good, then the dentist will take some x-rays to determine if optimum healing will be able to occur. The dentist will then be able to splint (attach) the tooth to the teeth next to it so it can be immobilized and have proper support for healing to take place.If the tooth has been out of the mouth for more than 20 minutes, then the dentist will need to soak the tooth in a balanced salt solution for about a half hour and then put it in an antibiotic before re-implanting it. The salt solution helps to keep the periodontal ligament cells alive and reduces the chance of them dying and your tooth attaching directly to bone (a condition known as ankylosis, which has a variety of problems associated with it — I’ll get into that in a future article.)

6. Take antibiotics and get a tetanus booster shot if you haven’t had one in the past five to ten years. Because it would be impossible to sterilize the tooth before re-implanting it without killing the cells in the tooth, you will probably end up introducing a small amount of bacteria into your body. To be on the safe side, your dentist will probably prescribe you 7-10 days’ worth of antibiotics. Also, if you haven’t had a tetanus booster shot in the past five to ten years, you should go to your doctor to get one.

7. After 7-10 days, go back to the dentist. The dentist will then remove the splint. Studies have shown that if the splint is kept on the teeth for more than 7-10 days, there is a good chance that cells in your body will start to eat away at the root of the tooth (a process known as root resorption).

However, there is an exception to this rule. If the tooth was knocked out of an adolescent, then there is a possibility that the pulp inside the tooth will also heal. To allow this to happen, it is recommended to keep the splint attached for three to four weeks in younger teeth.

8. Bite carefully until the tooth heals. The tooth will still be slightly movable when the dentist removes the splint. It is necessary to remove the splint this early because if the splint is left in too long, there are complications that can arise.

9. Hope for the best and return to your dentist often. If the tooth is young, the pulp may heal. If the tooth is a few years old and is fully formed, the pulp will probably not survive. In these cases, the tooth can still be successfully re-implanted, but it will need to have a root canal treatment performed where the dead pulp tissue is removed and replaced with a compatible material. Also, the tooth may get eaten away a little bit by the cells around the periodontal ligament.

The roots on teeth that have been re-implanted have a tendency to slowly dissolve, so it is important that your dentist take exam the tooth at six month intervals to monitor the status of the tooth.

Article from: http://bit.ly/2uG52Xh

Foods That Fight Mouth Bacteria

By SFGATE

🍎🍏 FUN FACT: Apples help kill bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath! Learn more about other foods that fight bacteria. The Oral Surgery DC team

An apple is a natural tooth cleaner. The fiber content of the skin gently scraps plaque from the surface of your teeth. Its high water content keeps it from sticking to your enamel and it gives you vitamins that promote healthy gum tissue. Other foods are good tools for oral health as well, offering benefits similar to those of apples, but also providing anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Some stop the growth of existing bacteria in your mouth and some even kill the pathogens that can cause infections and periodontal disease.

Cranberries

Cranberry juice may help stop plaque from forming in your mouth. According to a group of researchers from Israel who published their findings in the “Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy” in 2004, cranberry juice helps stop the growth of biofilms, collections of microorganisms that grow on your teeth and cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. Because previous studies had shown that non-dialysable material in cranberry juice stops the growth of a variety of oral bacteria, the researchers believe that its ability to keep biofilms from collecting may add to the cranberry’s benefits to your oral health.

Grape products

Dr. Christine Wu, of the College of Dentistry at University of Illinois, has conducted a series of studies on the effect of grape products on teeth. In one of them, published in the “Journal of Nutrition” in 2009, she says that raisins contain antimicrobial compounds that can keep oral pathogens from growing, preventing dental diseases. She also tested grape seed extract and found that it promotes remineralization of tooth enamel after root procedures. Grapes, which are rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, iron, potassium, calcium and B vitamins, promote general health, she adds, which is also beneficial for oral health.

Blackberries

Blackberries may kill pathogens that cause periodontal infections, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina and University of Kentucky. In 2012, they published a study in the “Journal of Periodontal Research” in which they subjected 10 types of mouth bacteria to blackberry extract and found that it offers more than just anti-inflammatory benefits. The compound, they concluded, also showed anti-viral activity, as well as antibacterial properties that reduced the amount of damaging pathogens that cause periodontal disease.

Garlic

Garlic is known for giving people bad breath, but its antimicrobial properties may make it a good tool to kill mouth bacteria. According to researchers from South Yorkshire, UK, who published a study in the “Archives of Oral Biology,” garlic contains allicin, which inhibits the activity of a compound that causes periodontitis. Garlic also fights gingivalis, a bacteria associated with periodontal disease. The researchers suggest that garlic extract or allicin may be helpful for preventing or treating some types of oral disease.

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The Evolution of the Toothbrush

By Irma Wallace, Infographic Journal

🐴 Can you imagine brushing your teeth with horse hair?! Take a look at just how far the toothbrush has come. The Oral Surgery DC team

Attention to dental hygiene dates all the way back to 3500 BCE with the Chew Stick in Egypt and Babylonia. Centuries later, we have seen tremendous advances in the dental hygiene industry. Check out this Evolution of the Toothbrush by Fortis to understand the incredible transformation of the dental hygiene industry from 3500 BCE until today.

Article from:http://buff.ly/2euAumC

Why Sharks Don’t Get Cavities

By Megan Garber, The Atlantic 

Should sharks be our role models for oral hygiene? Learn about the two species with “toothpaste-teeth”! The Oral Surgery DC team

Sharks live lives that are, to human sensibilities, mostly unenviable. The creatures are constantly moving. They are hunted by predators far higher than they are on the food chain. They are often made to dine on manmade trash. They are totally oblivious to the subtler plot points of Orange Is the New Black.

But sharks, as a group, do have one evolutionary leg (fin?) up on us humans — one that has nothing to do with the terrifying sharpness of their enormous teeth and everything to do with the evolutionary resilience of those teeth. Sharks, it turns out, can’t get cavities.

In part, that puts sharks in company with most non-human animals. While creatures who don’t have access to Colgate have dental problems just like we do — among them tartar buildup that can cause gum disease — cavities are a largely human affliction, the result (for the most part) of our affinity for sugar.

What makes sharks unique, however, is that their teeth seem to be coated in fluoride. Yes: coated in fluoride. According to research published last year in the Journal of Structural Biology, at least two species of sharks, makos and tiger sharks, feature teeth whose outer coatings “contained one hundred percent fluoride.” Which is a nice cuspid coup. It’d be, for us, essentially like walking around with a perma-coating of toothpaste on our teeth.

While the Structural Biology research focused only on the two species, the makos and tiger sharks were chosen precisely because they feed in such different ways: makos rip the flesh off their prey, messily, while tiger sharks use their teeth to neatly slice through their meals. Since both species feature toothpaste-teeth, there’s reason to believe that those teeth are a feature enjoyed by other shark species, as well. And the choppers don’t just protect sharks against tooth decay: since teeth coated with fluoroapatites are less water-soluble than hydroxyapatites— the stuff that coats most mammals’ teeth, including our own — sharks’ teeth are also particularly suited to their underwater environment.

So take a moment to appreciate the elegantly Darwinian design of shark teeth. Then push your thoughts of those teeth aside to where they belong: your nightmares.

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Chocolate: A Superfood for Your Teeth

By Ask the Dentist 

🍫 Who says chocolate isn’t good for you? The antibacterial effects of chocolate can help protect against tooth decay. Sounds too good to be true? The Oral Surgery DC Team. 

A dentist recommending chocolate? Yes, that’s right, you read correctly.

Recent studies emerging from Japan, England, and the U.S. support the fact that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay in the mouth.

Dark chocolate (I can’t speak for sugary milk chocolate) doesn’t deserve its bad rap as a cavity-causing treat. It may actually help prevent cavities!

And here’s where the gauntlet gets thrown down. Compounds in chocolate may be more effective at fighting decay than fluoride. Researchers are predicting that one day, the compound found in chocolate called CBH will be used in mouthwashes and toothpaste.

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acids, which eat away at the tooth’s surface and cause cavities. Compounds in the cocoa bean husk have an anti-bacterial effect and also fight against plaque. This makes chocolate less harmful than many other sweet foods your dentist might warn you against because the antibacterial agents in cocoa beans offset its high sugar levels.

This research has even revealed that the cocoa extract is more effective than fluoride in fighting cavities. To many, this is shocking news, but for me that’s not saying much. I’m not a big fan of ingesting fluoride, and I think it has long been over-hyped (more on that in future posts).

The compound CBH, a white crystalline powder whose chemical makeup is similar to caffeine, helps harden tooth enamel, making users less susceptible to tooth decay. This specific compound has been proven effective in the animal model, but it will it will take another two to four years before the product is approved for human use and available for sale (in the form of mouthwashes and toothpastes).

In the mean time, however, one can “administer” this compound via the ingestion of chocolate. Eating 3-4 oz of chocolate a day is a great way to take advantage of this wonder compound and lower your chance of getting cavities. What an easy and fun recommendation a doctor can make; it’s been called the food of the gods, a supposed aphrodisiac, and the drink that Casanova favored.

Now, before you reach for that Snickers bar, listen to this:

For the best therapeutic effect (yes, I’m still talking about chocolate), it’s best to chew on cacao nibs. Most will find this option unpalatable.

The second best choice, is dark chocolate with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving – organic if possible. Be aware that chocolate is a calorie-rich food, so modify your calorie intake accordingly.
Raw chocolate is even a better choice, as it it less processed, and more of the antioxidants are left intact.

Do all of this for your teeth, but enjoy the other benefits of mood elevation and better blood flow as well!

With the recent findings, it’s now more true than ever, that chocolate is a superfood. Chocolate has over 300 chemical compounds in it, making it one of the most complex foods we know of, and I predict that many new compounds in chocolate beneficial to us will surface over time and cement its nutritional five star rating.

Article from: http://buff.ly/2i8gq7Z