Archive | July, 2017

More effective treatment of nerve pain

It is known after wisdom teeth removal that it is possible to develop lasting nerve pain. In some cases this nerve pain could be that of trigeminal neuralgia which is characterized by sharp, lancinating pain in the teeth or facial area. The standard treatment for this chronic nerve pain can cause burdening side effects. A new study has demonstrated a novel substance that can help inhibit this type of nerve pain. Trigeminal neuralgia can cause sharp pain that shoots to the face or teeth and torments those suffering. The bouts are triggered by touch, such as shaving, putting on make-up, showering, talking and tooth brushing, or even a gust of wind. The cause is usually from an irritation of the trigeminal nerve, the cranial nerve responsible for the sensory innervation of the facial area, parts of the scalp, and the oral cavity. Pain signals are known to reach the brain via the activation of sodium channels located in the membranes of nerve cells. The sodium channel “1.7” is frequently expressed on pain-conducting nerves and higher pain intensity is linked to higher channel activity. Blocking this sodium channel inhibits pain. In trigeminal neuralgia, the nerve damage is presumed to be at […]

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Estrogen therapy can help reduce gum disease

Estrogen therapy has been credited with helping women manage a wide range of menopause-related issues, such as hot flashes, improving heart health, and maintaining sexual satisfaction. New research suggests that estrogen therapy used to treat osteoporosis can lead to healthier teeth and gums. During menopause estrogen levels reduce and women become more vulnerable to health issues such as loss of bone mineral density which can lead to osteoporosis. During menopause changes in oral health also are common as teeth and gums become more susceptible to disease, leading to inflammation, bleeding, pain, and potentially lost teeth. In the research, 492 postmenopausal Brazilian women aged 50 to 87 years, 113 in osteoporosis treatment and 379 not treated, were evaluated to determine whether osteoporosis treatment could help increase the bone mineral density in their jaws and improve oral health. The study found that the rate of occurrence of severe periodontitis was 44% lower in the postmenopausal osteoporosis-treatment group than in the untreated group. Treatment consisted of systemic estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin, in addition to calcium and vitamin D supplements, for at least six months. As such, estrogen therapy may also prevent the worsening of tooth and gum disease. All women, but […]

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Bacterium goes from the mouth to the heart to cause disease

The human mouth can have more than 700 different species of bacteria. Under normal circumstances these microbes co-exist as part of our resident oral microbiota but when they spread to other tissues via the blood stream, the results can be catastrophic. Researchers from the University of Bristol have revealed a potentially key molecular process that occurs in the case of infective endocarditis, a type of cardiovascular disease in which bacteria cause unwanted blood clots to form on heart valves. If untreated, this condition is fatal and even with treatment, mortality rates are high. There are over 2,000 cases of infective endocarditis in the United Kingdom (UK) annually and the amount is rising. The research involved the use of the UK national synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source. Using this giant X-ray microscope the team was able to visualise the structure and dynamics of a protein called CshA which was believed to play an important role in targeting the oral bacterium Streptococcus gordonii to the tissues of the heart. The researchers were intrigued to find that CshA acts as a ‘molecular lasso’ to enable S. gordonii to bind to the surface of human cells. Such adhesive interactions are critical first steps in […]

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Tooth repair could occur using Alzheimer’s drug

The renewal of living stem cells in tooth pulp could occur using an Alzheimer’s drug has been discovered by a team of researchers at King’s College London. Following trauma or an infection, the inner, soft pulp of a tooth can become exposed and infected. In order to protect the tooth from infection, a thin band of dentine is naturally produced and seals the tooth pulp, but is insufficient to effectively repair large cavities. Currently dentists use human-made cements or fillings, such as calcium and silicon-based products, to treat these larger cavities and fill holes in teeth. This cement remains in the tooth and fails to disintegrate, meaning the normal mineral level of the tooth is never completely restored. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, scientists from King’s College London have proven a way to stimulate stem cells contained in the pulp of the tooth and generate new dentine in large cavities, potentially reducing the need for fillings or cements. The novel approach could see teeth use their natural ability to repair large cavities. When fillings fail or infection occurs, dentists have to remove and fill an area that is even larger than what is affected, and after multiple treatments the […]

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Tips to Afford Quality Dental Care

I was recently alerted to a post on thesimpledollar.com talking about how to afford quality dental care. The link for this post is at http://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-to-afford-quality-dental-care/. The article is written by Chris Sirico and was last updated on June 15, 2017. The article goes into some of the costs for common dental procedures and what you can do if you don’t have insurance. The article also goes into HSAs/FSAs, dental credit cards, dental financing, dental savings plans, dental insurance, and cosmetic dentistry. The article provides a very nice chart about the average cost for various dental procedures with and without insurance. For example the average cost of removing a single wisdom tooth is $416 without insurance and has an average cost of $250 to $750 if you have insurance. As another example the average cost of a surgical tooth extraction is $401 without insurance and has an average cost of $334 with insurance. The article says that if you don’t have dental insurance or have a limited budget then you can talk to the dental office staff to see if there is anything they can do to help. Dental financing or a dental savings plan may be able to help. With dental […]

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