Your Dentist Can Help Protect You From Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition affecting up to 100 million Americans, making it one of the biggest health concerns facing the U.S.. While it can be managed with a change in diet and prescription medication, there is also a role for your dental practitioner. They will be able to tell from examining your mouth whether you are at risk and can perform procedures to stabilize blood sugar levels. Poor dental health can tell you so much more about your health than just the condition of your teeth and has been linked not just to physical conditions but also to poor mental health. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist if they see any other health concerns during a dental checkup, particularly having to do with diabetes. The Link Between Diabetes and Dental Diseases Even if a doctor hasn’t diagnosed you with diabetes, you … Read more

The ethics of a fair and honest treatment plan

An interesting article titled “The ethics of presenting a fair and honest treatment plan,” is written by Marvin Elwood Rice, appearing in JADA, April 2017, vol. 148, issue 4. The article discusses a dentist who has had numerous occasions in which a relative, past patient, or a new patient has called for a second opinion because of what another dentist has shown them on the oral camera screen. These are patients who take care of their teeth and are familiar with their conditions. In each instance, the patient was in a panic because the dentist enlarged his or her teeth on the overhead screen and pointed to a dark developmental groove or a stained pit and tried to convince the patient that they had a cracked tooth and needed a crown or that the stained areas were active carious lesions and they … Read more

Nanoparticles can be used to break up plaque and prevent cavities

Bacteria living in dental plaque contribute to tooth decay which is often resistant to traditional antimicrobial treatment. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took advantage of pH sensitive and enzyme like properties of iron containing nanoparticles to catalyze the activity of hydrogen peroxide. The activated hydrogen peroxide produced free radicals that were able to degrade the biofilm matrix associated with tooth decay and kill bacteria thus preventing plaque and reducing tooth decay. The researchers said that even a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide was effective at disrupting the biofilm. It was found that adding nanoparticles increased the efficiency of bacterial killing more than 5,000-fold. The work built off a seminal finding published in 2007  showing that nanoparticles, long believed to be biologically and chemically inert, could in fact possess enzyme-like properties. This study showed that an iron oxide nanoparticle behaved similarly to a … Read more

No Drill Dentistry Can Prevent Tooth Decay

Research published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology has shown that the need for fillings can be reduced by 30 to 50% through preventative oral care. This means that many previous fillings are not needed when dental decay occurs. As such a preventative approach can be beneficial when compared to current dental practices. Dentistry has been traditionally practiced with the believe that tooth decay rapidly progressed and the best way to manage it was to identify early decay and remove it quickly to prevent the tooth surface form developing cavities. After the decay is removed the tooth is restored with a filling material. Fifty years of research studies have shown that decay is not always progressive and develops more slowly than previously thought. It can take an average of four to eight years for decay to progress from the tooth’s outer layer to the … Read more

Can Graphene Be Used to Treat Gum Disease and Fight Cavities?

When bacteria invade the mouth dental disease can form. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Traditionally, antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria if it is found. However, antibiotic resistance has been an issue in recent years where the antibiotics no longer work as effectively to kill the bacteria. Thus new methods to eliminate bacteria are need. Scientists have discovered a material called graphene oxide is effective at eliminating this type of bacteria even if it has developed antibiotic resistance.  Previous studies have shown that graphene oxide which are carbon nanosheets studded with oxygen groups, is a promising material in biomedical applications. Graphene oxide can inhibit the growth of some bacterial strains with minimal harm to mammalian cells. Researchers were interested to see if graphene oxide is effective at elminating bacteria responsible for dental disease. They tested … Read more