Household Environment Shapes Saliva Microorganisms

Researchers from UCL in the United Kingdom have discovered that the mix of microorganisms in a person’s saliva are largely determined by the household they live in. The study showed that early environmental influences play a far larger role than human genetics in shaping the salivary microbiome. The microbiome are organisms that play an important role in oral and overall health. The oral cavity is colonized by hundreds of bacterial species, which stop external pathogens but they also can cause oral disease. The researchers were interested in exploring how the salivary microbiome becomes established and which factors are most responsible. The researchers used DNA and saliva from an extended Ashkenazi Jewish family living in various households spread across four cities on three continents. The family members are believed to have shared cultural diets and lifestyles that control for many confounding factors. … Read more

Tooth Decay Higher in Children Who do not Drink Tap Water, But Blood Lead Levels Lower

A new study appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has shown that American children who do not drink tap water are much more likely to have tooth decay than those who do, but also less likely to have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Due to some dangers reported from drinking tap water which includes fluoride and potentially other contaminants, some parents have opted to not give it to their child and instead have opted for bottled or filtered water for drinking. See http://blog.teethremoval.com/large-amounts-of-fluoride-consumed-by-young-children-leads-to-fluorosis/ for more information on the dangerous of fluoride for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adding fluoride to the water supply has dramatically reduced the prevalence of tooth decay over the past 70 years. Even so tooth decay is still a large problem affecting the primary teeth of over 20% of U.S. preschoolers … Read more

Reducing mental distress in patients undergoing dental procedures including hypnosis, relaxation, and counseling

An interesting article titled “Non-pharmacological interventions for reducing mental distress in patients undergoing dental procedures: Systematic review and meta-analysis” by Sophia Burghardt  et al., appears in the Journal of Dentistry in 2018 (vol. 68, pp. 22 – 31). The article seeks to determine the effects of hypnosis, enhanced information, relaxation, music, or cognitive-behavioral approaches on adults undergoing dental procedures. The researchers explored 29 randomized controlled trials and found through random effects meta-analyses significant reduction of mental distress when patients underwent a non-pharmacological intervention. In particular the largest effect was shown for hypnosis. People experience anxiety and fear of going to a dentist and some even have a diagnosable condition of dental phobia. Research shows a general dentist is capable of treating adults with mild or moderate forms of dental anxiety but those with severe dental anxiety or even dental phobia often requires … Read more

Poor Oral Health is Linked to Depression: Implications for Public Health

A 2014 research project confirmed the link between poor oral health and depression, a relevant finding that can help in improving public health.  Oral health plays a significant role in the mental condition of a person, a two-way relationship that can become complex. On the one hand, dental care and treatments may produce anxieties and phobias. However, the absence of good oral hygiene can cause tooth problems, gum diseases, infections and other complications. Medications for mental health issues also produce side effects such as teeth grinding and dry mouths. The Importance of Oral Health and the Science Behind It Two National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) examined the relationship of dental health and depression. Oral health questionnaires (OHQ) were used as bases for dental health while depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Using logistic regression to measure the … Read more

Ways to Improve Your Life: Meditation, Breathing Exercises, and Seeing a Therapist

There are different techniques that one can take to try to improve their overall health and life. It has long been thought by Yogis and Buddhists that meditation and breathing exercises strengthen our ability to focus. Other benefits include decreased mind wandering, more positive emotions, and decreased emotional reactivity. Now research has shown that a key element of mediation and mindfulness affects the level of a natural chemical messenger in the brain called noradrenaline. This noradrenaline is released when we are focused or challenged and if produced at the correct levels can help the brain grow new connections. The study was carried out by researchers at Trinity College and led the researchers to believe that it is possible to stabilize attention and boost brain health through breath control practices.  When people are stressed too much noradrenaline is produced and people can’t focus. When … Read more