The Foods That Can Kill Bad Breath

Bad breath can be a common and frustrating problem that nearly everyone experiences from time to time. For some, it’s worse than others. It can be the cause of social isolation and self-consciousness, lowering one’s confidence and ability to interact with others. Getting close to people, Continue reading

Quick Detection of Periodontitis Pathogens

Twelve million Germans suffer from periodontitis, an inflammation that can lead to the loss of teeth if left untreated. A new diagnostic platform enables the pathogens to be detected quickly, enabling dentists to act swiftly to initiate the right treatment.

Bleeding gums during tooth brushing or when biting into Continue reading

New Chemical Makes Teeth ‘Cavity Proof’ – and Could Do Away with Dentist Visits Forever

  • Chemical could be added to toothpastes in years’ time
  • Kills bacteria that erode teeth
  • Single dose protects mouth for hours
  • ‘Keep 32’ chemical could even be added to foods

A new chemical could make human teeth Continue reading

Smoking is harming more than your Lungs

According to a new study, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to disease. This is yet another damaging finding about the world’s most preventative cause of death. The health advice is clear as can be: it’s never to late to quit smoking.

You brush every day, floss regularly, but your mouth manages to maintain a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria. But if you are a smoker, your mouth is a much more chaotic, diverse ecosystem. And in it, an invasion by harmful bacteria is far more likely, as your defense system is down.

As a group, it is not surprising that smokers suffer from higher rates of oral diseases than non-smokers. Leading the list is gum disease. This is a challenge for our good friends with the metal tools (dentists). The new study investigated the role the body’s microbial communities Continue reading

Banned for Pets and Farm Animals, but Okay for You and Your Children?

With Consumers for Dental Choice

Dental amalgams have been in use since the American Civil War. They are an anachronism that has been perpetuated by dental industry patents, and there’s a conspiracy of silence that seeks to keep the 75 percent of Americans who are ignorant about that fact that amalgam fillings are actually 50 percent mercury.

As stated by Charlie Brown, who founded the Consumers for Dental Choice in 1996: Continue reading

Pregnant Women can Safely be treated for Gum Disease

Pregnant women can safely be treated for gum infections without having to worry about their baby’s health, according to a new study.

The concern among dentists had been that treating the problem could cause bacteria to get into the mothers’ bloodstream, where they could harm babies’ development.

Gum disease — caused by a bacterial infection that breaks down gum tissue and can cause tooth loss and serious health problems — is a particular problem during pregnancy.

Hormonal changes appear to make a pregnant woman more susceptible to developing it, yet the standard antibiotic-based therapy is not recommended because it stains  Continue reading

Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist about Radiation

Our exposure to radiation is now seven times higher than it was in the 1980s. While most of that comes from CT scans, body X-rays, mammograms, and other forms of medical imaging, there’s another common source of radiation you could be getting every six months when you go in for a teeth cleaning.

The details: In general, the dental industry is developing new methods and practices that expose people to lower levels of radiation now than ever before. “It’s in line with, or even more advanced than other fields of medicine,” says Erika Benavides, DDS, PhD, clinical assistant professor in the department of periodontics and oral medicine at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. The problem is that dentists themselves don’t seem eager to invest in all those new low-radiation methods.

Last fall, a New York Times investigation revealed that about 70 percent of the nation’s dentists are still using older, D-speed dental film, which exposes people to nearly 60 percent more radiation  Continue reading

Light, Photosynthesis Harmful to Fresh Produce

TEL-AVIV –  A study conducted by Israeli researchers suggests that exposure to light, and possibly photosynthesis, may help disease-causing bacteria to invade fresh produce, making them impervious to washing.

According to background information in a report published in journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, past studies have already shown that salmonella enterica attaches to the surface of fresh produce, and finds its way below the surface of the skin through pores called stomata, where it can hide from and resist washing and food sanitizers.

In the new study, researchers from the Agricultural Research Organization at the Volcani Center in Israel and Tel-Aviv University examined the role that light and photosynthesis might play on the ability of salmonella bacteria to infiltrate lettuce leaves via stomata.

They exposed sterile iceberg lettuce leaves to bacteria either in the light, in the dark, or in the dark after 30 minutes of exposure to light.

Incubation in the light or pre-exposure to light resulted in aggregation of bacteria around open stomata and invasion into the inner leaf tissue.

Incubation in the dark, on the other hand, resulted in a scattered attachment pattern and very little internalization.

According to the researchers, the increased propensity for internalization in the light may be due to several factors.

First, they say, in the absence of light plants enter a period of dormancy, where stomata are closed and no photosynthesis takes place. In the light, the stomata are open.

Additional findings also suggest that the bacteria are attracted to the open stomata by the nutrients produced during photosynthesis, which are not present in the dark.

“The elucidation of the mechanism by which Salmonella invades intact leaves has important implications for both pre- and postharvest handling of lettuce and probably other leafy vegetables. The capacity to inhibit internalization should limit bacterial colonization to the phylloplane and consequently might enhance the effectiveness of surface sanitizers,” say the researchers.

Frequent Nasal Irrigation May Increase Infections

NEW YORK – New evidence suggests that daily nasal irrigation may increase the risk of sinus infections.

Nasal irrigation with warm saline has been promoted as way to cleanse the sinuses and help prevent infections. However, using this therapy too often may not be beneficial.

The latest study, presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI) annual meeting, included 68 adults who used nasal irrigation frequently for one year and then stopped therapy for one year. The patients were compared to 24 control patients who did not discontinue nasal irrigation.

The researchers found that number of sinus infections decreased by 62.5 percent after the participants stopped using nasal irrigation. Additionally, after stopping nasal irrigation, they were 50 percent less likely to develop sinus infections than those who continued with daily therapy.

Mucus in the nose contains important immune system molecules that help the body fight against infections. Because nasal irrigation eliminates this mucus, the authors suspect that it may lead to an increased risk of infection.

Trouble Thinking? Better See the Dentist

NEW YORK – A new study hints that good oral care – regular brushing and flossing and trips to the dentist — may help aging adults keep their thinking skills intact.

In a study, researchers found that adults aged 60 and older with the highest versus the lowest levels of the gum disease-causing pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis were three times more likely to have trouble recalling a three-word sequence after a period of time.

Dr. James M. Noble of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and colleagues also found that adults with the highest levels of this pathogen were two times more likely to fail three-digit reverse subtraction tests.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry this month, are based on more than 2300 men and women who were tested for periodontitis and completed numerous thinking skills tests as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III conducted between 1991 and 1994.

Overall 5.7 percent of the adults had trouble completing certain memory tasks and 6.5 percent failed reverse subtraction tests. Participants with the highest (greater than 119 units) versus the lowest (57 units or lower) pathogen levels were most likely to do poorly in these tests.

Research has already established a strong association between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Gum disease could influence brain function through several mechanisms, the researchers note; for example, gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, a risk factor for loss of mental function.

In a related commentary, Dr. Robert Stewart, of King’s College in London, United Kingdom, says this study adds to a “quietly accumulating” body of evidence tying oral and dental health with brain function.

SOURCE: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, November 2009