Gum to Test for Inflammation in Mouth

Researchers from the University of Würzburg in Germany have developed a chewing gum that is capable of detecting inflammation in the mouth. The research was motivated by the fact that 6% to 15% of patients who receive dental implants develop an inflammatory response in in the years that follow. This is caused by bacteria destroying the soft tissue and the bone around the dental implant. The researchers provided proof of a principle by using studies of the saliva of patients at Merli Dental Clinic in Rimini. They showed that in the presence of inflammatory conditions, specific protein-degrading enzymes are activated in the mouth. These same enzymes break down a special ingredient of chewing gum within five minutes to release a bittering agent that could not be tasted before. In the future, patients will benefit from this method using a chewing gum diagnostic test … Read more

Nanodiamonds to Help With Root Canal Recovery

Researchers at UCLA found in a clinical trial that nanodiamonds protected disinfected root canals after the nerve and pulp were removed. This result may help people who undergo root canals as it could help prevent infection after treatment. Specifically combining nanodiamonds with gutta percha, a material used to fill disinfected root canals, may enhance the gutta percha’s protective properties. Nanodiamonds are tiny particles made of carbon and are very very small. Nanodiamonds have previously been explored to deliver drugs and serve as imaging agents. Protecting disinfected root canals is a delicate process. Dentists use gutta percha to block bacteria from infiltrating the tooth, but it can break during the procedure or create pockets of space for bacteria to infiltrate. The researchers tested nanodiamond-embedded gutta percha (NDGP) in three people who undergoing root canal procedures. These tests demonstrated the implanted material NDGP … Read more

Having diabetes can lead to periodontitis

Those with diabetes may end up with periodontitis, a gum infection which causes tooth loss. University of Pennsylvania researchers has found diabetes triggers changes in oral microbiome which increases inflammation and increases the risk of bone loss. Prior studies before this work did not show any evidence that diabetes affects the oral microbiome. In addition over four years ago, the European Federation of Periodontology and the American Academy of Periodontology issued a report describing how there is evidence that diabetes is linked to changes in the oral microbiome. The University of Pennsylvania researchers collaborated with Peking University, the University of São Paulo, Sichuan University, the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and the University of Capinas. The authors consulted with the Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Diseases. The researchers first explored the oral microbiome of diabetic mice compared to healthy mice. It was found … Read more

Dental X-rays Show Vitamin D Deficiency

McMaster anthropologists have found that human teeth hold important information about Vitamin D deficiency which can be identified by a dental X-ray. The researchers had previously discovered that human teeth hold a detailed and permanent record of Vitamin D deficiency. The teeth show microscopic deformities in dentin. This is preserved by enamel which protect teeth from breaking down. Vitamin D deficiency often occurs when a human does not get enough exposure to sunlight. This work is useful for examining the teeth of people who lived years ago to see if they were ever deprived of sunlight and had Vitamin D deficiency. An issue when looking for teeth deformities currently is that that a tooth must be cut open and there are limited teeth the researchers had access to. To avoid wasting specimens, the researchers tried to find a way to … Read more

How Does Cavity Causing Bacteria Survive?

Researchers from the University of Basel’s Preventative Dentistry and Oral Microbiology Clinic and Department of Biomedical Engineering have found that extracellular polysaccharides play a central role in the survival capabilities of cavity causing bacteria in dental plaque. These bacteria live in biofilm and cause cavities by attacking dental enamel by converting sugar and starch into acids that dissolve out calcium from the enamel. The dissolution of calcium increases the concentration of calcium locally which creates an environment hostile to bacterial life. The researchers investigated how bacteria manage to survive in dental plaque despite conditions of hostility. They suggested that extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) support the bacteria’s survival capabilities. EPS are substances that build extracellular cariogenic bacteria from sugar residue. These substances create biofilm’s scaffolding and ensure bacteria are able to anchor themselves in  dental plaque. The researchers showed the more that calcium cariogenic … Read more