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80% of 5-year-old’s in Taiwan have tooth decay


According to Taiwan’s Health Affairs Department, about 80% of the islands five-year-olds have dental cavities and the average number of cavities among twelve-year-olds is 2.5, compared to the worldwide average of 1.67.

The Department said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) set a target in the year 2000 to control the rate of decay among the children of Taiwan, aiming at less than 50%, which indicates that there is still a long way to go with dental health. It has been suggested that parents give their children less sweets and sugary treats, as well as encouraging them to brush twice a day to avoid decay. Good oral hygiene is vital if the teeth and gums are going to be kept in good condition; periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two most common dental problems in the country and they can led to other health concerns if they are left to deteriorate over a long period of time.

A study that took place in 2012 at China’s Ministry of Health showed that the number of children with cavities was lower than today, at 66% for five-year-olds, and 29% for twelve-year-olds. The numbers also revealed that only 14.5% of adults and 14.1% of senior citizens have healthy teeth, which suggests that a large percentage of the population have poor dental health.

Is your inhaler causing tooth decay?


New research suggests that some medicines could cause decay to form in teeth that are otherwise healthy and well cared for; studies from Australia and Scandinavia have suggested that asthma medication can increase the risk of cavities because of the slightly acidic content. If used properly, the inhaler and the drug it contains should not come into direct contact with the teeth, which could reduce the damage done to the enamel.

However, asthma medication is also available in a powered form, which could leave a residue on the teeth that would contribute to decay over time. Dr Mervyn Druian, of the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry explains that patients should be on the lookout for early symptoms to stop the condition in its tracks, saying ‘changes begin with brown areas, no bigger than a pinprick, on the inside of the teeth. Teeth begin to feel rougher if you run your tongue along them, and more sensitive. Without meticulous dental hygiene these can develop into cavities.’

Experts suggest rinsing the mouth out after an inhaler or medication for asthma has been used, and maintain a high standard of dental hygiene – including brushing and flossing. It is also recommended that sufferers visit the hygienist three times a year; these visits will help protect against decay because a fluoride paste will be applied to strengthen the teeth and other products to encourage the flow of saliva to prevent cavities from developing.

Study shows that cheese combats tooth decay


If new research is to be believed, cheese could help prevent the development of cavities because it neutralises the plaque acid that causes decay. Researchers have discovered that the dairy product makes the mouth more alkaline, which is a less hospitable environment for plaque to form on the teeth – cheese also creates a protective film that prevents acid building up throughout the day.

The higher pH level on the surface of the teeth provides better protection against dental erosion, which leads to cavities and more extensive decay. The research, carried out by the Academy of General Dentistry in the US, divided 68 children aged between 12 and 15 into three groups; the first was asked to eat a portion of cheese every day, the second a sugar-free yoghurt, and the third to drink a glass of milk – before rinsing their mouths out. The pH levels were measured before and after the test and the results showed that there was no change in the groups that ate the yoghurt or drank the milk, but those that ate the cheese showed a large increase in the alkaline content around their teeth.

It is believed that this increase is caused by more saliva being produced, which helps to maintain a healthy pH level, and also due to the chemical compounds found in cheese that form a protective layer on the teeth to prevent acid attacks. A spokesperson for the research groups stated that this suggested ‘cheese has anti-cavity properties.’

Solihull dentist offers special clinic to help with children’s dental health


After providing treatment for tooth decay to large numbers of children in the Solihull area, one dentist has decided to do something about the problem by arranging a fluoride treatment to protect milk teeth and repair cavities in youngster’s teeth. Satinder and Joanna Kelley, who own Heath Dental, said that they were going to be providing Flairesse fluoride protection from a specialist children’s clinic, along with face painting and an education corner to make the experience more enjoyable.

Satinder explained that it was better to teach children from a young age how to take care of their teeth because they would be much more likely to maintain those habits for life. He went on to say that it was more common to find older patients who were afraid of visiting the dentist, rather than the younger generation because ‘Technology has helped overcome those fears.’

The Heath Dental clinic is one of just eight surgeries in the country to use a dental laser for fillings and surgery, Satinder explains that this ‘saves patients having to have stitches, so they can go straight back to work afterwards. It’s great for children. It makes it gentler for patients.’ The surgery has been shortlisted for a Midlands team of the year award and Satinder maintains that they are ‘not about quick fixes,’ adding that the team ‘want to be here a long time so we need to be able to look a patient in the eye in ten or fifteen years’ time and say, we made the right decision.’

Chemical revealed that could make teeth ‘cavity proof’


A chemical designed by scientists in Chile could be the key to preventing tooth decay permanently, according to recent reports. The molecule is known as ‘Keep 32’ – in reference to the 32 teeth in a human mouth – and dentists claim it can wipe out all bacteria that cause cavities in under a minute. Developers hope that the chemical could be used in various dental products, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, turning them into ‘super-cleansers’, that could fight the underlying causes of decay and stop cavities from developing.

‘Keep 32’ targets the bacterium ‘streptococcus mutans’, which converts sugar into lactic acid and erodes the outer layer of teeth; by getting rid of this germ, the chemical can prevent enamel damage and the decay it normally leads to. The product has been tested for the past seven years by researchers Jose Cordova, of Yale University, and Erich Astudillo, from the University of Chile, and now the pair are hoping to start testing it on humans in the coming months. With successful trials, ‘Keep 32’ could be on the market within a year and a half, with further development leading to a version being added to certain foods to stop bacteria damaging teeth during meal times.

Cordova and Astudillo told the media they were currently in talks with five major parties who are interested in investing with ‘Keep 32’ to fund on-going research, or to buy the patent and begin trading.

New type of filling that can improve your teeth


Traditional fillings could be a thing of the past as a new composite material has been developed that not only fills cavities, it also kills bacteria and encourages mineral growth to rebuild the structure of teeth. Study leader at Maryland University School of Dentistry, Professor Huakun Xu, told the Daily Mail that ‘Tooth decay means that the mineral content in the tooth has been dissolved by the organism acids secreted by bacteria residing in biofilms or plaques on the tooth surface. These organisms convert carbohydrates to acids that decrease the minerals in the tooth structure.’

Even after removing decayed sections, there is still some residual bacteria in the cavity, which even strong anti-bacterial solution can’t get rid of, so scientists at the university have added silver nanoparticles to the primer used to prepare the excavated cavity for a filling, Professor Xu explains ‘the reason we want to get the antibacterial agents also into primers and adhesives is that these are the first things that cover the internal surfaces of the tooth cavity and flow into tiny dental tubules inside the tooth.’

The composite substance also contains calcium phosphate that can help rebuild the damaged sections and encourage mineral growth inside the teeth. Initial tests have suggested that the new type of filling could last longer than the ten years expected from traditional restorations, although the durability has not been fully examined just yet.

Redheads dread going to the dentist


Unfortunately for three per cent of England’s population and thirteen per cent of Scotland’s, it’s not just the sun that can prove troublesome, a new study by Southampton University Hospital has initially shown that pale-skinned redheads in both countries are likely to feel more pain when visiting the dentist, and will require more anaesthetic. Researchers have discovered that the genes that affect the colour of hair and skin are the same as the ones that help produce endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers.

The study of volunteers over the age of thirty involves anaesthetising the subject and then administering a small electrical charge to their thigh, then comparing the reaction with another group of people with brown or black hair. Although the research won’t be complete until September, early evidence suggests that the red-haired volunteers do feel more pain, which concurs with a similar study carried out in the US that revealed that redheads were generally more nervous about receiving dental treatment, and more than twice as likely to avoid it.

Dr Edwin Liem, who led the first study at Louisville University, commented that ‘Redheads experience more pain from a given stimulus and therefore require more anaesthesia to alleviate that pain.’ A second experiment in the same field showed that women with red hair needed nineteen per cent more pain relief to stop them from reacting to negative stimulation, than those with dark hair that were tested in the same way.

Katy Perry OCD over oral hygiene


Everyone knows that brushing your teeth regularly is a must if you want to keep them in good condition and prevent dental problems, but it appears that American singer Katy Perry has taken the advice a step too far, as she admits to taking a supply of new toothbrushes everywhere she goes, to stop her teeth from getting cavities.

A source told the Daily Star that Katy had experienced tooth decay when she was younger and is so determined to avoid the problem that she brushes her teeth up to six times a day. The singer spoke to YouTube this week and revealed that a childhood fascination with the teeth of pop star Britney Spears started her obsession with oral hygiene, saying ‘I wanted them to be like Britney Spears white. I used to grow up seeing her music videos and be like ‘what does she do? Does she get a new set of teeth all the time? They’re so white.’

The 27-year-old divorcee also admitted that suffering with dental caries as a child contributed to the habit, ‘I’ll brush my teeth [after] breakfast, lunch and dinner,’ she says, ‘I did have thirteen cavities at one time, so you can imagine why I’m so freaked out. When I was a kid I didn’t really go to the dentist a lot and when I finally went, they were like, ‘you might as well get a new set of teeth.’


New ‘gas drill’ could replace traditional methods


The drill is probably the most feared of all the dental tools, and with good reason, the vibrations are not only mind-numbing, they are also capable of causing considerable discomfort as they jolt the nerve endings in the teeth. Well now the millions of dental-phobic people all over the world have one less thing to worry about; a new ‘gas-firing’ drill has been developed as a pain free alternative, it can also make the process faster and more hard-wearing for the future.

Researchers at the University of Missouri are taking credit for the revolutionary idea, and they are confident that their new product will allow more patients to undergo filling treatment with a less painful outcome. Tooth decay is the most common dental problem in the world, and cavities currently have to be treated by drilling away the decayed area and then replacing it with fillings made of amalgam or composite bonding material. The ‘non-thermal argon plasma brush’ will remove the uncomfortable drilling stage; it works by firing out tiny electrically charged particles that are powerful enough to cut through the enamel, killing bacteria as they go – which means it is also a more sanitary process.

Head of prosthodontics at King’s College London Dental Institute spoke to the Daily Mail earlier today, saying that ‘in principle, it sounds like a good idea. If this mixture of gas and liquid can be shown to remove enamel, it would be a big step forward for dentistry.’

Fluoride ‘reduces risk of emergency dentistry’


Fluoride 'reduces risk of emergency dentistry'People should use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen their teeth and reduce the chances of needing emergency dentistry, an expert has claimed.

With an increased number of people opting to consume bottled water, it is important to keep fluoride content high in order to protect teeth and gums.

In a recent Komo News article Dr Phillip Sheridan, a dentist from the Mayor* Clinic, urged people to ensure they were using a fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.

He said: "If people have cavities in their teeth in spite of the fact that they're using fluoride toothpaste, the dentist may suggest that you use the fluoride rinses that are available over the counter."

Colgate recommends that people who drink mostly bottled water should speak to a dental professional about special fluoride treatments.

The organisation warns people with receding gums to seek medical treatment as bacteria is given the chance to roam more freely and cause tooth decay.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800517671-ADNFCR

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