5 Ways Bad Oral Hygiene Makes You Sick

Here are some ways that missing the mark on oral care could harm your heath.

5 Ways Bad Oral Hygiene Makes You Sick

Even if you brush your teeth daily, you may still have dangerous bacteria growing inside your mouth. Not only could that lead to periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease that comes with symptoms such as bleeding when you brush and gum pain), but studies also find a link between poor oral hygiene and major health issues. Here are some ways that missing the mark on oral care could harm your heath.

1. It may hurt your heart.

People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease compared to those don’t have periodontitis. Researchers aren’t exactly sure of why this might be, but one theory is that harmful bacteria from your mouth enters your blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels, leading to inflammation and upping your risk of clots that can trigger heart attacks.

2. Your memory may suffer.

Some research suggests there may be a tie between poor oral health and an increased risk of dementia. One study that followed 118 nuns between the ages of 75 and 98 found that those with the fewest teeth were most likely to suffer dementia. Experts think oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves that connect to the jaw or through the bloodstream, and may contribute to the type of plaque that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s.

3. It might worsen your body’s control of blood sugar.

People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than those without diabetes. While this may be because diabetics are more susceptible to infections, there’s also been research that finds gum disease could make it harder to control your blood sugar, and that treating it helps improve diabetes symptoms.

4. It may affect your breathing.

Gum disease may increase your risk of getting respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia, according to the Journal of Periodontology. The infections might be caused when bacteria from the mouth are inhaled into your lungs, possibly causing your airways to become inflamed.

5. It could make it harder for you to have a baby.

Women of childbearing age with gum disease took an average of just over seven months to become pregnant – two months longer than the average of five months that it took women without gum disease to conceive, discovered researchers in Western Australia. Other research finds that pregnant women with gum disease might have higher odds of miscarriage.

Expert Teeth-Cleaning Tips

How can you tell if you’re hitting the mark when it comes to good oral care?  Generally, your teeth and gums should not bleed, be painful, or feel rough or sharp to your tongue.  Your breath should be fresh for at least a couple of hours after brushing in the morning and after having eaten breakfast.  One of the easiest ways to prevent gum disease is to clean your teeth properly, so try these tricks for a healthier mouth.

1.    Rinse your mouth.

If you use mouthwash twice a day, you’ll slash your risk of gum disease by 60 percent, says Marjorie Jeffcoat, DMD, Professor of Periodontology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. Ideally you should aim to rinse for about 30 seconds with a mouthwash that has microbial protection to fight plaque and gingivitis, such as Listerine®.

2.    Floss first.

You should floss before you brush your teeth, rather than after, says Jeffcoat. “That way you’ll be able to brush away any food that was stuck between your teeth to prevent bacteria from growing.” If you find dental floss hard to hold onto, Atherton suggests trying floss picks, such as Plackers® dental flossers, instead.

3.    Get the right toothbrush.

Soft or extra soft bristles are best. Gum tissue can’t make a callous; therefore, when a person uses a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush, it literally scratches the tissue away over time, exposes the root surface underneath and leads to possible bone loss.

4.    Brush smart.

To really clean your teeth, aim to brush them for a full two minutes. Make sure you brush both your tongue and cheeks as well as the chewing surfaces to improve the removal of harmful bacteria in the crevices.  To get your kids to brush the full two minutes, sing “Happy Birthday To You” or the “Alphabet Song” twice through at a normal speed for each half of your mouth. And be sure to replace your toothbrush about every three months.

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Can Braces Cause A Nickel Allergy?

Though, body piercing is not the subject of this article, it must be noted that that much of the metal used in jewelry contains nickel. You might ask, “what does nickel have to do with orthodontics?”

Can Braces Cause A Nickel Allergy?


The popularity of body piercing in today’s generation of orthodontic aged patients can mean that many of these patients may have already been sensitized to nickel by the time they see an orthodontist. Though, body piercing is not the subject of this article, it must be noted that that much of the metal used in jewelry contains nickel. You might ask, “what does nickel have to do with orthodontics?”  Nickel is a metallic element used in many of the “high tech”, ultra-flexible wires, auxiliaries, and stainless steel appliances used in orthodontic practice today, including the braces themselves. Nickel is known to cause more cases of allergic contact dermatitis than all other metals combined.   Most cases of nickel contact dermatitis are the result of direct contact from jewelry, clothes, watches, and glasses. Nickel is present in a large number of commonly used objects and can therefore cause contact dermatitis.

There has been a lot of research done on nickel hypersensitivity over the years. A Recent study in the American Journal of Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics set out to determine the prevalence of nickel hypersensitivity in orthodontic patients and compare it with the prevalence in the general population. A meta-analysis was performed on all previous valid studies to come up with a consensus view or recommendation.

How Does Nickel Cause Allergic Reactions?

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system reacts adversely to a foreign substance (antigen). Nickel induces a contact dermatitis, which is a Type IV delayed hypersensitivity immune response. There are 2 phases to this process. The sensitization phase occurs the instant the allergen (nickel) enters the body and causes a response. The elicitation phase occurs after the body is re-exposed to the antigen (nickel) a second time which causes the appearance of the full clinical manifestations. The initial exposure usually does not elicit symptoms, but subsequent contact with the antigen is usually enough to cause a more visible reaction.

Occurrence of Nickel Allergy: Who Is At Risk? What are the Symptoms?

The percentage of nickel in orthodontic appliances ranges from 8% (in stainless steel) to more than 50% (in nickel-titanium alloys).  Estimates are that 4.5% to 28.5% of the total population are sensitized to nickel.  Nickel hypersensitivity is more prevalent in females than in males by a factor of 10 to 1. This disproportionate hypersensitivity in females is thought to be related to their more frequent exposure to and contact with detergents, jewelry, earrings, and other metal objects such as watches, metal buttons, and buckles. For males, nickel hypersensitivity is related more to occupational exposure for example in industries where nickel is used as a raw material.

Another study reported that oral contact with nickel in normal, non-sensitized individuals may actually cause those individuals to become more resistant to nickel allergy.Sensitization to nickel is thought to be increased by mechanical irritation, skin maceration, or oral mucosal injury, all of which can occur in orthodontic practice.

Symptoms of nickel allergy include development of an allergic dermatitis and/or lesions of contact stomatitis which can be highly variable in nature and at times barely visible.  Itching is not usually a common symptom and outside the mouth reactions (most commonly associated with headgear wear) are more common than inside the mouth reactions.

Diagnosis of Nickel Allergy

Nickel hypersensitivity induced contact dermatitis is confirmed through the use of a patch test in which small amounts of allergens are applied to the skin for a period of time. The dermatologist then measures the intensity of the skin’s reaction. A patch test score of +4 (the most severe of reactions) is characterized by the presence of erythema, edema, papules, and vesicles at the test site while a score of +2 presents in only erythema which is a much less intense allergic response. An erythematous allergic reaction is depicted below.


Correct diagnosis of nickel hypersensitivity is important. The following patient medical history would suggest a diagnosis of nickel allergy:

  • a previous allergic response after wearing earrings or other metal item
  • appearance of allergy symptoms following insertion of orthodontic components containing nickel
  • extra-oral (outside the mouth) rash adjacent to headgear arms

It is very important to eliminate lesions associated with other causes:

  • herpetic stomatitis
  • candidiasis
  • ulcers due to mechanical irritation
  • allergies to other materials such as acrylic

Recommendations For Nickel Sensitive Patients

As mentioned previously, many orthodontic components contain nickel alloys. Stainless steel contains approximately 8% nickel, while nickel titanium archwires contain approximately 50% or more nickel. It is important to note that most research has determined that all intra-oral orthodontic components made of stainless steel are safe to use in nickel hypersensitive patients because the molecular structure of stainless steel prevents the release of nickel and renders it unreactive. However, a nickel-free alternative to stainless steel brackets are available in the following forms:

  • ceramic brackets
  • polycarbonate or plastic brackets
  • titanium brackets
  • gold-plated brackets

Stainless steel orthodontic archwires are also considered safe in nickel sensitive patients.  On the other hand, many high technology ultra-flexible nickel-titanium wires used in orthodontics today should be avoided in nickel sensitive patients. Alternate wires such as twist-o-flex, TMA, pure titanium, and gold-plated can be used without risk.

If a patient experiences a positive nickel sensitivity (positive patch test) reaction during orthodontic treatment it is recommended that all intraoral and/or extraoral appliances (braces) containing nickel be removed until the adverse reaction subsides. Once the lesions have healed, nickel-free appliances can be placed.


The popularity of body piercing in the teenage population will no doubt cause the sensitization of more orthodontic aged patients to the effects of nickel allergy in the coming years. Severe intra-oral reactions of nickel allergy are very rare, however, extra-oral reactions are more common. In the final analysis, research has concluded that orthodontic treatment is not associated with an increased occurrence of nickel sensitivity unless patients had his or her ears pierced.


One Response to “Can Braces Cause A Nickel Allergy?”

  1. I think it depends on the people using it. Some people has a sensitive skin. Thanks for posting this.

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Plasma Dental Brush Painlessly Removes Cavities

The device uses “cool” plasma to affect chemical reactions while remaining painless to the patient.

Plasma Dental Brush Painlessly Removes Cavities

Dental Plasma Brush

A team of researchers from University of Missouri, University of Tennessee, and Nanova, Inc (Columbia, MO) have been working on a new dental “plasma brush” for cleaning out cavities and preparing teeth for fillings. The device uses “cool” plasma to affect chemical reactions while remaining painless to the patient.

So far laboratory trials haven’t revealed any side effects, except that fillings tend to be 60% stronger when applied in conjunction with plasma therapy. Human clinical trials are expected to begin early next year and if everything goes well we may see this technology in dental offices by 2013.

Dental Plasma Brush

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Sonicare® Gets Competition As Emmi®-dent Ultrasonic Toothbrush Debuts In U.S.

Emmi-dent’s ultrasound cleans everywhere, even in places where dental floss cannot reach.

Sonicare® Gets Competition As Emmi®-dent Ultrasonic Toothbrush Debuts In U.S.

Ultra-clean your mouth with a new micro-cleaning process powered by 100% pure ultrasound.  The development of an ultrasonic device to clean your teeth and mouth with ultrasound, represents a revolution in the field of dental hygiene and prophylaxis treatment. Until today, teeth could only be cleaned using abrasive methods by “applying abrasive particles“ in toothpaste. The brush cleans areas where the bristles reach.

Manual, electric and sonic toothbrushes clean only where the bristles reach. They have to apply abrasive toothpastes. By contrast, Emmi-dent’s ultrasound cleans everywhere, even in places where dental floss cannot reach. Ultrasound cleans much more thoroughly than toothbrushes with brushes, and it cleans even deep inside fissures and gum pockets. The new Emmi-Tech process used in ultrasonic oral cleaning devices not only cleans the teeth but also works between the teeth, the fissures and the gingival pockets – all without friction, with no movement of the brush and without “applying abrasives“ which can damage the enamel.

Scientific Background: How ultrasound kills bacteria

The fundamental research on the effects of ultrasound on bacteria dates back to 1953, when Dr. Hartwick (Freie Universität in Berlin/Germany) published his studies on the effects of ultrasound on bacteria. In 1978, the two researchers Sajas und Gorbatow were able to fully prove & document the destruction of micro organisms via ultrasound. In 1992, new studies published by Schütt, Abraham et al. about their findings document the rupture of bacteria cells and enzymes.

The antibacterial effect of ultrasound (in the case of Emmi-dent the 96 million oscillations per minute as compared to Sonicare 40,000 oscillations per minute) is based on the very rapid sequence of pressure increase and decrease (cavity principle) in the cell microorganism which leads to stress on the organism’s membrane and a consequential destruction of the cell.

The triple benefit from the use of the Emmi-dent Ultraclean – It helps prevent or minimize dental diseases by attacking the problem, the bacteria (which are almost exclusively the reason for dental problems).

Bacteria on the tooth surface and gum, together with other substances such as sugar or starch, form a sticky plaque. This plaque is the main cause of gum irritation and inflammation of the gums. The bacteria in plaque emits metabolic byproducts that cause inflammation at the gingival margin (gingivitis). Without proper hygiene, this process may progress and may lead to the degradation of the gums. Fibers, tissue and bone around the teeth are destroyed. From the initiation of gingivitis, periodontitis may develop. In extreme cases, teeth lose their grip and fall out or need to be extracted.

The trilogy

The tooth cleaning and oral hygiene have a triple benefit when using an oral ultrasound cleaning device (such as Emmi-dent):

1) It gently cleans the tooth surfaces, between the teeth, periodontal pockets and fissures with a lasting effect. After the ultrasound cleaning, put your tongue on your teeth – the surface feels extremely smooth, because the plaque and other contaminants have been removed.

2) It acts prophylactically – the antibacterial effect of ultrasound removes the plaque and tartar; inflammation cannot occur.

3) It has a therapeutic effect, i.e. when a patient develops an inflammation such as periodontitis, aphthous ulcers, etc. Within a few days the inflammation can be reduced or cured by destroying the bacteria causing the infection.

Ultrasound not only ultracleans, but has a prophylactic (preventive) benefit as well. It prevents dental diseases by killing germs and bacteria. The basis of all dental diseases is bacteria that cannot be dealt with adequately and destroyed by the human immune system. Emmi-dent ultrasound kills bacteria, thus removing this possible source of dental diseases on a sustainable basis. In addition, ultrasound invigorates the blood flow inside the vessels and the tissue and, therefore, the body releases more of its own energy, which has a prophylactic effect.

Ultrasound is also therapeutic (helps to heal), because it kills germs and bacteria – not only on the teeth and gum (e.g. plaque, tartar, tooth decay), but also inside the gum. Ultrasound penetrates the tissue up to about 12 mm deep and kills bacteria/suppuration on the periodontium and tooth roots (e.g. gingivitis, periodontitis, peri-implantitis after implantology are removed or weakened).

Due to the increased blood circulation and the release of the body’s own energies, the immune system and the body’s defense system are strengthened significantly, and a lasting healing effect is promoted and accelerated.

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5 Reasons To Start Orthodontic Therapy Early Rather Than Late

Here are 5 reasons why I believe having the teeth straightened as soon as possible is better than having to do this while you’re an adult:

5 Reasons To Start Orthodontic Therapy Early Rather Than Late

Here are 5 reasons why I believe having the teeth straightened as soon as possible is better than having to do this while you’re an adult:

1. The treatment for a kid/teenager is easier than for an adult.

Let’s say that, after 7 years of age, I can start seeing if there’s something wrong with my child. If his orthodontist can get his “hands” on the situation, while the teeth are still erupting and my kid’s jaw bone is not “final”, the entire treatment shouldn’t be as complex as mine for instance.

In other words, when one is still growing the orthodonitst can control bone tooth movement and jaw growth. Once you complete growth, the jaw bone cannot be moved with out orthognathic surgery (jaw breaking and resetting in the correct place) or Wilckodonitcs.

2. Less complex treatment means less expenses.

For a long and complex treatment, the price tag is pretty big. If the treatment started early, with less complications and things to solve, it would also mean less interventions and of course less money.

3. From a social point of view, kids have it easier.

Let’s say that it’s normal to see teenagers with braces. Some consider that age as the “age for braces”, since most parents work on their kids teeth in that period. When half your classmates have braces, for a teenager that’s not a huge problem anymore. Of course they are so sensitive about their looks, but, once so many kids their age “sport” their metal teeth, it’s less traumatic for them. Not to mention their treatment is shorter than mine, an an adult, and the results show faster.

When they’re getting ready to have their hearts broken, they’re teeth are perfect. Having braces as an adult can take a toll on your social life, since some people are not attracted by someone who’s got “something” on their teeth. I’d personally stay far from such people, but, hey, it’s love and love doesn’t choose.

4. Professionally, having braces can be not so good.

As a relative, no one cares about my slight lisp or “metal smile”.  As a professional, having braces is not a pleasure.

5. Not solving the issues, won’t make them disappear.

So, if your child doesn’t have straight teeth, don’t wait. Go see an orthodontist and start making changes as soon as possible. He/she’d grow with good healthy teeth, a good bite, a beautiful smile and all that confidence.

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What Are Dental Sealants For Children

“Pit and fissure” sealants are absolutely wonderful and certainly something you should consider.

What Are Dental Sealants For Children

Dental SealantsA cavity, by definition, is a hollow place — a hole. Often, the posterior teeth known as premolar and molar teeth and the backsides of top front teeth are formed with deep grooves, that dentists call “pits and fissures.” Despite our best efforts, the toothbrush bristles cannot reach down to clean out these crevices. It is warm, dark and moist at the bottom of these pits, and the acid produced by bacteria metabolizes sugar easily. This begins to dissolve the tooth enamel that starts the decay process.

“Pit and fissure” sealants are absolutely wonderful and certainly something you should consider. Because of sealants, fluoride, good hygiene, nutrition (including low sugar consumption) and regular dental visits, tooth decay has been dramatically reduced. Research shows that pit and fissure decay accounts for approximately 43% of all decayed surfaces in children aged six to seven, even though the chewing surfaces (of the posterior teeth) constitute only 14% of the tooth surfaces at risk.

The newly erupted immature enamel of teeth is more permeable and therefore more susceptible and less resistant to tooth decay due to the higher organic content of the enamel surface. As the enamel matures, the organic content decreases along with its permeability, the enamel becomes more resistant and in a sense stronger. Until that occurs, it is critical to protect the surfaces of newly erupting teeth to enhance their longevity.

Fluoride aids enamel because it makes the surface harder and impermeable, therefore less susceptible to acid attack and demineralization, which we know as decay. Fluoride adds some protection to the deep pits and fissures of the teeth but they are still at high risk because of their shape and very often need further protection.

You may have heard about “sealants.” Sealants are protective coatings placed in these tiny pits and fissures to prevent decay — actually sealing them from attack. Some dentists advocate placing sealants on all permanent (adult) molar teeth and many primary (baby) molar teeth soon after they erupt into the mouth. Greater use of sealants could reduce the need for subsequent treatment and prolong the time until treatment may become necessary for permanent first molars, usually the first adult teeth to erupt.

There are children who are at greater risk for decay; they do not see a dentist regularly and placing sealants in more teeth could reduce their decay rates. This has been seen among Medicaid and other high-risk populations.  However, it seems that not all children may need all their posterior teeth surfaces sealed. In fact, about 80% of children need sealants in only one permanent molar and about 10% of children need sealants in baby molars.

In low decay risk communities, the sealant procedure is advocated only when dental examinations indicate that decay is just starting or extremely likely to start in a tooth.  Then, the tooth receives a mini-“resin,” an invisible filling. The “water whistle” as it is sometimes addressed to children (also known to many of us as the “drill”) is used to gently explore the deep pits, fissures and grooves of the affected tooth and remove any minimal decay that is lurking there.

In some dental offices, this exploration may be done with an “air abrasion” or a laser as an alternative to drilling. Only the least amount of tooth enamel is removed to eliminate any possible decay. This is usually a completely painless procedure for the child, and no numbing is routinely required. The enamel of the tooth where decay starts is inert and does not contain nerve fibers, so nothing is felt. Some children may feel a quick tinge of “cold” when the bottom of the pit is reached and the last bit of decay is removed. Children are always warned of this potential feeling at the appropriate time. The feeling is usually not enough to warrant an injection and the subsequent experience of numbness for hours afterwards.

Approached in this way, the resin will more likely remain for years without recurring decay under the small, conservative and invisible mini-filling. These are not the fillings with which most of us are familiar. I tell the children that these do not “count” as cavities because they could not be prevented.

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Ancient Toothache Cures

Toothaches, and attempts to cure them, have no doubt been around as long as we have.

Ancient Toothache Cures

Ancient Teeth

Toothaches, and attempts to cure them, have no doubt been around as long as we have. In fact, researchers discovered evidence of tooth drilling that took place more than 9,000 years ago. It seems some enterprising dentist-in-training put down his spear and picked up a crude dental drill to fix cavity-ridden molars in his fellow Neolithic man. The good news is that the process was unbelievably precise and took about minute. The bad news? No anesthesia!
It was long believed cavities were caused by worms that burrowed inside the tooth and caused pain by wiggling around. The earliest reference to tooth worms was in a Sumerian text dated around 5,000 BCE.  Right up until the 18th century most people, including dental practitioners, believed that tooth worms caused decay and discomfort.

Some ancient doctors mistook tooth nerves as tooth worms, and removed them. It was the barbaric version of root canal therapy. Well, except the doctors would also take out the entire tooth. Present-day dentists try to avoid extractions because tooth roots are important to the health and strength of the jawbone.

Curious Cures

Roman writer Pliny the Elder suggested catching a frog under a full moon, spitting into its mouth, and then telling it to take the toothache away. Some cultures attempted to cure toothaches with chanting. In ye ol’ merry England, citizens would steal teeth from corpses to create toothache talismans. Other ways our ancestors tried to cure toothaches:

  • Ancient Egyptians wore magical amulets.
  • Aztecs chewed on hot chilies.
  • Romans tried oral fumigation followed by a hot mouth rinse.
  • Medieval people relied on sorcery.
  • The Talmud recommended drinking sour fruit juice.

Modern Treatments

Dentists today know that toothaches are caused by decay and bacterial infection. Most toothaches can be relieved with root canal therapy. Dentists can remove the diseased nerve and pulp, and then restore the tooth, usually with a filling and porcelain crown. And lucky for us, there is anesthesia and pain medication to ensure we don’t have go frog-hunting at the next full moon.

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The Dental Benefits Of Cranberry Juice

A team led by oral biologist Hyun (Michel) Koo, D.D.S., Ph.D., at the University of Rochester Medical Center has discovered that the same traits that make cranberry juice a powerful weapon against bladder infections also hold promise for protecting teeth against cavities.

The Dental Benefits Of Cranberry Juice

Cranberry’s Cavities

A team led by oral biologist Hyun (Michel) Koo, D.D.S., Ph.D., at the University of Rochester Medical Center has discovered that the same traits that make cranberry juice a powerful weapon against bladder infections also hold promise for protecting teeth against cavities. Koo found that cranberry juice acts like Teflon® for teeth, making it difficult for the bacteria that causes cavities to cling to tooth surfaces. Stickiness is everything for the microbe Streptococcus mutans, which creates most cavities by eating sugars and then excreting acids that cause dental decay.
“Scientists believe that one of the main ways that cranberries prevent urinary tract infections is by inhibiting the adherence of pathogens on the surface of the bladder. Perhaps the same is true in the mouth, where bacteria use adhesion molecules to hold onto teeth,” Koo said.  Koo’s team also found evidence that cranberry juice disrupts the formation of the building block of plaque, known as a glucan.

Like a mason using cement to build a wall brick by brick, bacteria use enzymes known as glucosyltransferases to build dental plaque piece by piece, quickly forming a gunky fortress that covers the tooth and gives bacteria a safe haven to munch on sugar, thrive, and churn out acid. Koo’s team found that cranberry juice prevents bacteria from forming plaque by inhibiting those enzymes and by stopping additional bacteria from glomming on to the ever-growing goo.
“Something in the cranberry juice disarms the pathogens that cause tooth decay,” Koo said.
But don’t even think about running to the juice aisle in the grocery store to prevent tooth decay, Koo said. The sugar that is usually added to cranberry juice can cause cavities, and the natural acidity of the substance may contribute directly to tooth decay.

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Dental Care For Babies Can Prevent Future Cavities

New parents have one more reason to pay attention to the oral health of their toothless babies. A recent University of Illinois study confirms the presence of bacteria associated with early childhood caries (ECC) in infant saliva.

Dental Care For Babies Can Prevent Future Cavities

New parents have one more reason to pay attention to the oral health of their toothless babies. A recent University of Illinois study confirms the presence of bacteria associated with early childhood caries (ECC) in infant saliva.

ECC is a virulent form of caries, more commonly known as tooth decay or a cavity. Cavities are the most prevalent infectious disease in U.S. children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“By the time a child reaches kindergarten, 40 percent have dental cavities,” said Kelly Swanson, lead researcher and U of I professor of animal science. “In addition, populations who are of low socioeconomic status, who consume a diet high in sugar, and whose mothers have low education levels are 32 times more likely to have this disease.”

Swanson’s novel study focused on infants before teeth erupted, compared to most studies focused on children already in preschool or kindergarten — after many children already have dental cavities.

“We now recognize that the “window of infectivity,” which was thought to occur between 19 and 33 months of age years ago, really occurs at a much younger age,” he said. “Minimizing snacks and drinks with fermentable sugars and wiping the gums of babies without teeth, as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, are important practices for new parents to follow to help prevent future cavities.”

In addition, his team used high-throughput molecular techniques to characterize the entire community of oral microbiota, rather than focusing on identification of a few individual bacteria.

“Improved DNA technologies allow us to examine the whole population of bacteria, which gives us a more holistic perspective,” Swanson said. “Like many other diseases, dental cavities are a result of many bacteria in a community, not just one pathogen.”

Through 454 pyrosequencing, researchers learned that the oral bacterial community in infants without teeth was much more diverse than expected and identified hundreds of species. This demonstration that many members of the bacterial community that cause biofilm formation or are associated with ECC are already present in infant saliva justifies more research on the evolution of the infant oral bacterial community, Swanson said.

Could manipulating the bacterial community in infants before tooth eruption help prevent this disease in the future?

“The soft tissues in the mouth appear to serve as reservoirs for potential pathogens prior to tooth eruption,” he said. “We want to characterize the microbial evolution that occurs in the oral cavity between birth and tooth eruption, as teeth erupt, and as dietary changes occur such as breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, liquid to solid food, and changes in nutrient profile.”

Swanson said educating parents-to-be on oral hygiene and dietary habits is the most important strategy for prevention of dental cavities.

One Response to “Dental Care For Babies Can Prevent Future Cavities”

  1. Interesting! Also important for mom to clean mouth before kissing on baby to prevent cross spreading of said bacteria.

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Can Gastric Reflux Effect Your Teeth

The effects of gastric reflux on the teeth can be extremely damaging causing erosion or dissolving of tooth enamel.

Can Gastric Reflux Effect Your Teeth

GERD, Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, is a disease in which acid from the stomach, or occasionally bile, refluxes or flows back into the esophagus (gullet). It’s the same problem that has been plaguing people for eons, and is the major cause of heartburn. Today the terms acid reflux and GERD are used interchangeably. Repeated acid reflux can damage the lining cells of the esophagus leading to ulcers, pre-cancer and ultimately cancer.

Reflux all the way up into the mouth causes an awful taste — the acrid taste of vomit. The effects on the teeth can be extremely damaging causing erosion or dissolving of tooth enamel. It can be seen in young children affecting a few of the teeth on one end of the spectrum, to individuals with eating disorders like bulimia, which can affect many teeth, on the other. Dentists are also seeing a lot more erosion of teeth as a result of acid ingestion (sodas and sports drinks can be very acidic). Ever noticed how gritty your teeth feel after a coke? If you are having problems associated with reflux see your dentist as soon as possible.

Dental Erosion

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