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Brushing teeth could ward off Alzheimer’s


Brushing your teeth regularly is a good way to avoid gum disease and, according to new research, the practice could possibly help you to avoid Alzheimer’s as well, as scientists reveal that the same bacteria that cause the gums to bleed also affect brain health and memory. This suggests that treatment for gum disease could be effective with Alzheimer’s.

The research, carried out at Kings College London and the University of Southampton, involved tracking 59 men and women with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s for a six month period. The tests showed that those with gum disease or periodontitis declined much more rapidly than those with healthy teeth and gums. It is thought that the germs activate the immune system, which triggers the release of chemicals within the body, affecting brain function and memory.

Mark Ide, of the Dental Institute at Kings College London said that around 80% of people aged 55 and above have gum disease, a worrying statistic when ‘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.’  He went on to say that various forms of research have revealed that effective treatment for gum disease could be useful in treating Alzheimer’s or at least slowing the patients decline.


Gum appliance could straighten teeth while patient sleeps


A revolutionary new gum shield that contains a vibrating balloon could align crooked teeth in as little as three months. The device, called the Aerodentis, is connected to a small machine that pumps air in and out of a silicon balloon that rests against the patients teeth; the vibrations from the balloon gradually move crooked teeth until they are lined up with the plastic gum shield. The Aerodentis should be worn for eight to ten hours at a time, usually at night.

According to the Daily Mail, the maker of this new appliance claim that crooked teeth could be realigned in just three months, compared to the months or years it can take conventional braces. The vibrations from the balloon inflating are too gentle to wake the patient up but should be enough to stimulate tooth movement while they sleep. It is thought that the pulsing pressure should encourage tooth alignment much faster than the constant force put onto the teeth by traditional appliances.

A study at the University of California, San Francisco, revealed that teeth with a normal brace moved on average about 0.6mm over twelve days, compared to 0.9mm with the gentle vibrations of the Aerodentis. Martyn Cobourne, professor of orthodontics at the King’s Dental Institute in London, said that the theory of small vibrations against the teeth was also being used in the departments own design, called the Acceledent; although this is to be used alongside traditional devices, rather than instead of them. He said ‘We don’t have any data yet but there is very little high-quality evidence to suggest that vibrational force moves teeth any faster than conventional force.’

The Aerodentis is already approved for use in Europe and could come to the UK within a year.

Don’t just buy toothbrushes when having emergency dentistry, Brits urged


Don't just buy toothbrushes when having emergency dentistryPeople should not just buy new toothbrushes when they go for emergency dentistry or other treatments.

This is the advice of a report carried out by the Sun, which found that old, dirty brushes can harbour bugs such as flu and herpes simplex.

Stephen Dunne, consultant at St Thomas's Dental Institute, told the newspaper that these can live for up to a week and can reinfect the user, or affect other members of the same family if the bristles touch other brushes.

A British Dental Association spokesperson also warned Britons never to share toothbrushes, as this could pass on anything from hepatitis B to cold sores.

It was recommended that people buy new toothbrushes once a month, instead of every six months to a year when they visit the dentist.

Earlier this month, the British Dental Health Foundation recommended Oral-B's oscillating-rotating power toothbrush when it comes to fighting emergency dentistry.  


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