Showing posts with label Teeth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teeth. Show all posts

Jun 15, 2018

Flossing Myth Debunked

Floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities is something we have been told for years. However, there is little proof that flossing works.
The federal government, dental organizations, and manufacturers of floss have pushed the practice for decades. Dentists provide samples to their patients. The American Dental Association says on its website that, “Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”
During 2017, the Associated Press asked the departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture for flossing efficacy evidence, and followed up with written requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
During 2018, the federal government issued its latest dietary guidelines and the flossing recommendation had been removed, without notice. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.
The AP reviewed research conducted during the past ten years, focusing on twenty five studies that generally compared the use of a toothbrush with the combination of tooth-brushing and floss. The evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable,” of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large potential for bias.” “The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal,” according to one 2017 review. Another 2015 review cites “inconsistent/weak evidence” for flossing and a “lack of efficacy.” A 2011 study did credit floss with a slight reduction in gum inflammation, which can sometimes develop over time into full-fledged gum disease. However, the reviewers ranked the evidence as “very unreliable.” A commentary in a dental magazine stated that any benefit would be so minor it might not be noticed by users.
Two leading professional groups, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology, for specialists in gum disease and implants cited other studies as proof of their claims that flossing prevents buildup of plaque, early gum inflammation called gingivitis, and tooth decay. However, most of these studies used outdated methods or tested few people. Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop. One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss. Such research, like the reviewed studies, focused on warning signs like bleeding and inflammation, barely dealing with gum disease or cavities.
The president of the periodontists’ group, acknowledged the weak scientific evidence and the brief duration of many studies. When asked about the origins of his organization’s endorsement of flossing, he said it may simply have “taken the ADA’s lead.” When the ADA was asked for proof of its claim that flossing helps prevent early gum disease and cavities, the group cited the 2011 review and a 2008 two-week study that measured bacteria and did not consider gum disease. A spokesman for the dental association, acknowledged weak evidence, but he blamed research participants who did not floss correctly.
The global floss market is almost $2 billion, with half in the United States. The floss industry has paid for most studies and sometimes designed and conducted the research. Procter & Gamble, which claims that its floss fights plaque and gingivitis, pointed to a two-week study, which was discounted as irrelevant in the 2011 research review. Johnson & Johnson said floss helps remove plaque. When the AP sent it a list of contradicting studies, J&J declined comment.
Floss can occasionally cause harm. Careless flossing can damage gums, teeth and dental work. Though frequency is unclear, floss can dislodge bad bacteria that invade the bloodstream and cause dangerous infections, especially in people with weak immunity, according to the medical literature.

Generally dentists agree that there is a possibility that it works and are comfortable telling people to floss. It is interesting to note that, with two billion dollars at stake, no one is willing to actually do a real study and perhaps find that the king really has no clothes on. . .

Dec 5, 2014

Straight Teeth Talk

Though fillings do crack and decay over time, you rarely need all of them replaced at once. Some dentists claim that old silver fillings need to be removed for safety reasons, because they leech mercury, but that idea is a myth.

There is enough fluoride in our drinking water and in over-the-counter toothpastes to prevent cavities in most people, so additional fluoride from a dentist is additional cost, with little benefit.

May 9, 2014

Ten Teeth Facts

Teeth in a growing fetus begin to develop at six weeks after conception

About one in every 2,000 babies is born with natal teeth.

Not everyone loses their baby teeth. By age 3, the average child has a full set of 20 temporary teeth.  Children typically start losing teeth around 5 or 6 and finish in their early teens. If a person does not have a replacement permanent tooth, that baby tooth will stay put.

Thirty five percent of people are born without wisdom teeth.

About 2,500 years ago, the Maya already had a very advanced understanding of teeth. They would have their dentists use a primitive drill to decorate their teeth. Sometimes they would have parts of the tooth cut out or shaped to make it look more interesting. Their most extreme modification was the bejeweling of teeth.

Ancient Egypt people were using primitive tools made from twigs to brush their teeth. Many countries still use twigs from trees with antibacterial properties, such as cinnamon and neem, and they have been found to be as effective as modern toothbrushes.

Acidic foods, like sour candy, soft drinks, and fruit juices soften teeth. The result is enamel erosion and diminished tooth size.

Paul Revere, in addition to earning a living as a silversmith and copper plate engraver, also worked as a dentist. Revere is the first person known to use dental forensics to identify the body of a colonial colonel killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill by his dental bridge.

Some cheeses, including aged cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack have been found to protect teeth from decay. Grilled cheese and bacon immediately springs to mind.

Every person has a set of teeth as unique as his or her fingerprints, and dental fingerprints of identical twins are different.

According to a Time Magazine Survey, 59% of Americans would rather sit in a dentist’s chair than sit next to someone on a cell phone.

Jun 14, 2013

George Washington's Teeth

Here is something for fathers day from the father of our country, his teeth.

George Washington suffered from poor dental health and spent his life in frequent mouth pain. He used a variety of tooth cleaners, dental medicines, and dentures. Dr. John Baker fabricated a partial denture with ivory that was wired to Washington’s remaining real teeth. When Washington was inaugurated President in 1789, only one real tooth remained in his mouth.

Dr. Greenwood fashioned a set of dentures of hippopotamus ivory and gold wire springs and brass screws holding human teeth. Greenwood left a hole to accommodate Washington’s single tooth. When Washington finally lost this final tooth, he gave it to Greenwood who saved it in a special case.

Nov 13, 2012

Crowns While You Wait

Instead of making a mold and sending it to a lab for scanning, dentists are now using a small camera to scan misshapen teeth. The digitized scan is then sent to an on-site milling machine that carves a crown from a block of porcelain. After preparation the crown is ready to be implanted.

The whole process is not much different than currently done. The area is numbed, and the dentist drills the tooth to shape it for the crown. Then the dentist uses a tiny camera to create a three-dimensional image of the drilled tooth. A computer program uses that to construct an image of what the tooth will look like with the crown in place. The image is transmitted to a machine on site mills the crown which is then glued on in the same process currently used.

Currently, the process is in use by about 10% of dentists, but will be used by more as the price of equipment comes down.

Mar 4, 2011

Dental Devices

If you think going to the dentist is tough these days, check out these devices for pulling teeth. They were used until the early 1800s.

Pelicans are instruments for extracting teeth and it is generally accepted that they are so named because of the similarity of the claw to the beak of a bird although it appears in different shapes and with variable features. They was used to remove a tooth from the row sideways and with considerable force. The claw went over the tooth and the bolster pressed against the vestibular alveolar bone. To function well two strong and healthy teeth were needed for the bolster to react against. Ouch, more gas please!

Jan 7, 2011

Teeth Brush

How about this to brush all your teeth at once. Should save minutes per year.

Jun 2, 2010

Regrow Teeth in Your Mouth

Columbia University has developed a technique for regrowing teeth in a patient’s mouth by homing stem cells to a scaffold made of natural materials and integrated in surrounding tissue, there is no need to use harvested stem cell lines, or create an environment outside of the body where the tooth is grown and then implanted once it has matured.

The tooth instead can be grown in the socket where the tooth will integrate with surrounding tissue in ways that are impossible with hard metals or other materials. The procedure could eliminate the need for dentures and conventional dental implants, which can take up to 18 months to heal, graft, and eventually put into place.

The work of Dr. Mao holds promise of a more natural process, faster recovery times, and a harnessing of the body’s own potential to regrow tissue that will not give out and could ultimately last the patient’s lifetime.

Nov 19, 2009

Eight Teeth Facts - some might surprise you

     1. All Teeth Whiteners Are The Same: No, they are not. The choices between teeth whitening systems include toothpastes, gels, rinses, strips, trays, prescribed whitening agents, and even laser treatments. Each has its own pro’s and con’s other than price and speed of results.

   2. Not Brushing Causes Bad Breath: Partially true, there are also many other factors for bad breath. Eating unpleasant smelling foods like garlic or onions, the odor remains until the body passes the food. Drinkers, smokers, and dieters can also have chronic bad breath.

   3. Breath Into Your Hand To See If You Have Bad Breath: Not true. This practice will only tell you if your hand smells or not. Because different muscles are used to breath and talk, the hand test isn’t exactly accurate.

   4. ADA Approved Gum Can Be Substituted for Brushing: Not true, but it can help. Chewing it in between brushing may help for conditions such as reducing plaque, promoting tooth enamel, reducing cavities, or combating gingivitis.

   5. Put Aspirin On An Aching Tooth: Not true. Placing it next to the tooth and gums can actually burn the gum tissue. Swallowing aspirin for pain is OK. Rinsing your mouth with warm water or an over the counter antiseptic containing benzocaine is also effective.

  6. Pregnant Women Should not Go To The Dentist: Not true. New studies show that gum disease can affect the unborn baby. Women who are pregnant or considering it should definitely see a dentist. Pregnant women can safely see the dentist and even have local anesthetics at 13 to 21 weeks gestation. Caution is advised for X-rays and some drugs.

   7. It is OK To Swallow Mouthwash: Not really. About 90 percent of mouthwashes contain high levels of an alcohol, which is not meant to be swallowed. It is also more dangerous for children and should not be given to those under twelve. The long terms affects of swallowing mouthwash can be dangerous.

   8. Mostly The Elderly Get Gum Disease: Not true. About 80 percent of Americans can have some form of gum disease. It can range from inflammation, to periodontitis that can result in damage to the bone. Most cases of gum disease can be reversed with brushing and flossing.

Jul 18, 2009

Juice is Bad for Teeth

Whitening teeth is increasing and Eastman Institute did a study to see if there are negative effects on teeth from using whitening products.

The team determined that the effects of 6 percent hydrogen peroxide, the common ingredient in professional and over-the-counter whitening products, are insignificant compared to acidic fruit juices.

It has long been known that juice and sodas have high acid content, and can negatively affect enamel hardness. The acid in orange juice markedly decreases hardness by 84% and increases roughness of tooth enamel. No significant change in hardness or surface enamel was found from whitening.

People who sip their drinks slowly over 20 minutes are more likely to have tooth erosion than those who finish a drink quickly.

May 27, 2009

Teeth Jewels

Teeth with jewels and gold might seem like a new thing, but gem-studded teeth were popular among people from all walks of life in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, purely for decorative purposes.

As far back as 2,500 years ago, dentists could drill teeth using obsidian drill-like devices, which are capable of penetrating bone. They may even have used some kind of herbal anesthetic. Then they attached the gemstones using plant resin adhesive. The ancient drillers knew enough to avoid the pulp inside teeth, and so managed to avoid an infection or broken tooth. Now celebrities are starting to tattoo their teeth.