Treats That Make Your Dentist Scream

Post by: Gerarda on 20 Oct 2016

The season of treats is upon us. That means your teeth and any ill-fitting crowns and bridges will be put to the test. What test? The sugar and sticky sweet test!

We all know the dangers of too much sugar: weight gain, an increased blood sugar level and cavities to name a few. As this is the season of Halloween and that means eating more sweets than usual, I will focus on sugar and the hazard it is to dental health. That sweet tooth you have, well the naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth also has a sweet tooth. In fact it loves sweets more than you do. This might actually turn you off your candy for a while, but as this bacteria is nourishing its sugar fix, it is doing nasty things to your teeth. The acid produced by the sugar lowers the pH level in your mouth, leaving you susceptible to a higher rate of tooth decay and tooth erosion.

Remember as a child when you tucked into those ultra-sticky treats? It took time to eat them as they became trapped between your teeth and wedged in any previously eroded parts of your teeth. You ate them just the same as they were so good. Since it took time to eat them, it gave bacteria more time to binge. That prolonged exposure to sugar meant that there was a perfect environment for the production of acid, leaving your teeth vulnerable.

Which sweets are the biggest offenders and give dentists the largest headaches?

Sour Candy
As well as an assortment of acids and artificial colors, you have the added bonus of 36 grams of sugar in a small package. And if that is not enough – what is in a name? Sour! Because they are sour, they have more than usual amounts of citric acid affording you even faster erosion of tooth enamel. Sour Candy

One of the biggest culprits in patients losing a crown, or having a bridge or an orthodontic wire come loose. A dozen of these sticky, delectable treats will also provide you with 32 grams of sugar.

Caramel toffee and sauce isolated on a white background

Candy corn
Weighing in with 32 grams of sugar in just a handful and is soft and sticky.

Closeup image of a scary hand coming out of jar into pile of candy corn

Fruit Chews
The perfect storm of sugar, gelatin and citric acid. That means high sugar content (22 grams), gelatin that sticks to your teeth and acid that lowers pH level in your mouth. Yum!

Colorful sugar jelly candy strip over glittering white background

At practically 100 % sugar it contains 13 grams of sugar in one small packet. Different Coloured Sherbet

My personal favorite. However, with nearly 300 calories, 27 grams of sugar, the possibility of breaking a tooth on the chocolaty, caramel peanuts, I try not to eat too many. But, oh they are tasty! Closeup of chocolate bar isolated on white

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Posted on Thursday 20th October 2016 at 11:54 am


The study wanted to determine if periodontitis played a role in dementia severity and progression.

A new study jointly led by the University of Southampton and King’s College London has found a link between gum disease and greater rates of cognitive decline in people with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Periodontitis or gum disease is common in older people and may become more common in Alzheimer’s disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Higher levels of antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increase in levels of inflammatory molecules elsewhere in the body, which in turn has been linked to greater rates of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease in previous studies.

The latest study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, set out to determine whether periodontitis or gum disease is associated with increased dementia severity and subsequent greater progression of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

In the observational study, 59 participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were cognitively assessed and a blood sample was taken to measure inflammatory markers in their blood. A dental hygienist who was blind to cognitive outcomes assessed participants’ dental health. The majority of participants (52) were followed-up at six months when all assessments were repeated.

The presence of gum disease at baseline was associated with a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline in participants over the six-month follow-up period of the study. Periodontitis at baseline was also associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six-month follow-up period. The authors conclude that gum disease is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease, possibly via mechanisms linked to the body’s inflammatory response.

Limitations of the study included the small number of participants; the authors advise that the study should be replicated ideally with a larger cohort. The precise mechanisms by which gum disease may be linked to cognitive decline are not fully clear and other factors might also play a part in the decline seen in participants’ cognition alongside their oral health.

However, growing evidence from a number of studies links the body’s inflammatory response to increased rates of cognitive decline, suggesting that it would be worth exploring whether the treatment of gum disease might also benefit the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Clive Holmes, senior author from the University of Southampton, says: “These are very interesting results which build on previous work we have done that shows that chronic inflammatory conditions have a detrimental effect on disease progression in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Our study was small and lasted for six months so further trials need to be carried out to develop these results. However, if there is a direct relationship between periodontitis and cognitive decline, as this current study suggests, then treatment of gum disease might be a possible treatment option for Alzheimer’s.”

Dr. Mark Ide, first author from the Dental Institute at King’s College London says: “Gum disease is widespread in the UK and US, and in older age groups is thought to be a major cause of tooth loss. In the UK in 2009, around 80 percent of adults over 55 had evidence of gum disease, whilst 40 percent of adults aged over 65-74 (and 60 percent of those aged over 75) had less than 21 of their original 32 teeth, with half of them reporting gum disease before they lost teeth.

“A number of studies have shown that having few teeth, possibly as a consequence of earlier gum disease, is associated with a greater risk of developing dementia. We also believe, based on various research findings, that the presence of teeth with active gum disease results in higher body-wide levels of the sorts of inflammatory molecules which have also been associated with an elevated risk of other outcomes such as cognitive decline or cardiovascular disease. Research has suggested that effective gum treatment can reduce the levels of these molecules closer to that seen in a healthy state.

“Previous studies have also shown that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have poorer dental health than others of similar age and that the more severe the dementia the worse the dental health, most likely reflecting greater difficulties with taking care of oneself as dementia becomes more severe.”

The full study, “Periodontitis and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease,” was published in PLOS ONE. This research in its present form was reprinted from Dental Products Report.
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Posted on Tuesday 12th April 2016 at 8:39 am

Dental Health in Intensive Care

Post by: Gerarda on 16 Aug 2015

Dental Hygiene

Patients with compromised health in the intensive care unit were at a lower risk for respiratory infections if they received proper dental care.

New research shows vulnerable patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) who received enhanced oral care from a dentist were at significantly less risk for developing a lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), like ventilator-associated pneumonia, during their stay in the hospital.

The study was published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

“Bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections often start in the oral cavity,” said Fernando Bellissimo-Rodrigues, MD, lead author of the study. “This study suggests that having a dentist provide weekly care as part the ICU team may improve outcomes for vulnerable patients in this setting.”

Brazilian researchers utilized an observer-blind randomized clinical trial design to analyze data from 254 adult patients who stayed in a general ICU for at least 48 hours. Patients were randomized to receive enhanced dental care provided by a dentist, or to receive routine oral hygiene performed by the ICU nurse staff.

Enhanced dental care included teeth brushing, tongue scraping, removal of calculus, atraumatic restorative treatment of caries, tooth extraction and topical application of chlorhexidine corresponding to each patients’ needs four to five times a week. Comparatively, regular treatment consisted of mechanical cleansing using gauze followed by topical application of chlorhexidine three times a day.

Patients provided enhanced dental care were 56 percent less likely to develop a respiratory tract infection during their ICU stay compared to the control patient group. Researchers note that enhanced dental treatment, including oral antisepsis routinely performed in ICUs could be more effective in reducing the oral bacteria and help prevent migration of these bacteria into the lungs.

This post is reprinted from materials provided by Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. 

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Posted on Sunday 16th August 2015 at 2:52 pm

The Toothbrush

Post by: Gerarda on 18 Mar 2015


Not all toothbrushes are created equal. Regardless if you are choosing a manual or an electric toothbrush, there are a couple of things to look for.

Size: There are many sizes available, but see that your toothbrush allows easy access to all surfaces of your teeth, also on the molars – those large teeth at the back of your mouth.  If the head of the brush is too large, it will be difficult to use and therefore, will be ineffective.

Bristle texture: Again whether it is a manual or an electric toothbrush, you can choose between soft, medium and hard. Today most stores selling toothbrushes also carry the extra-soft variety. If you clean your teeth regularly, twice a day, then an extra-soft toothbrush will be good.  If you brush too enthusiastically, then a hard toothbrush is the last thing you want to be using. You could actually do more damage than good to your gums and more so to the root surfaces of your teeth, should they be exposed.

Providing you clean your teeth regularly using a proper brushing technique, you should be able to get rid of the plaque and by doing so keep your teeth and gums healthy.

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Posted on Wednesday 18th March 2015 at 10:47 am

Halloween candy and teeth

Post by: Gerarda on 31 Oct 2014

Halloween is here and the trick or treating and parties mean candies, and lots of them.


When your child eats sweets the bacteria in the dental plaque uses the sugars which results in acid production. Each time we eat or drink something, especially something containing sugar, a new acid attack occurs. The acid dissolves the enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth. Brushing and flossing removes this plaque and prevents cavities from forming. Damage to teeth depends on how often sugar is consumed and for how  long it stays in the mouth.

Use this time to brush up on good oral hygiene habits and remind them of the importance of healthy teeth and gums.


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Posted on Friday 31st October 2014 at 9:42 am