February is Pet Dental Health Month and since my vet was offering a 10% discount on dental services i FINALLY decided to take in my 9 year old Maltese who was in desperate need of having one of her pre molars pulled. Since I was apprehensive of having her put under anesthesia I had put this procedure off for years. The result was absolutely disgusting fish breath and a tooth that looked like a prehistoric fossil!
Luckily, the procedure went well and they cleaned the other teeth which were all in relatively good condition. The best part is that now my dog’s breath is odor-free!
$500 later, I have now added a new New Year’s Resolution to my list– Brush my dog’s teeth at least three times per week.
Here was my list of reasons for NOT brushing her teeth. If any of these sound familiar, save yourself the $500– and go out and spend $12 on a brush and paste and get brushing!!!
1. “I only give her dry dog food so I don’t need to brush her teeth“: Unfortunately most dry dog foods have high starch content. Sugar and starches combine with the bacteria in the mouth and produce acids. These acids can eat away at the enamel on the tooth in addition to causing plaque build-up.
2. “My dog doesn’t like it”: When I was a kid, I didn’t like brushing my teeth, but it wasn’t a choice. It is part of a healthy lifestyle. If you let your dog make all the decisions in your house, it would be a disaster!
3. “I don’t need to”: I give them bones and chew toys: This is an equivalent approach to only chewing gum for your personal dental hygiene. You won’t find a dentist that recommends that approach! It is a nice addition but can’t do the job alone.
4. “I just put an additive in the water”: This is an equivalent approach to only using a mouth rinse for your own personal hygiene, except not even as good because your dog isn’t gargling and rinsing. Again, a nice addition but not sufficient by itself.
5. “My dog’s mouth is too small for a brush“– Guess what? There are really small brushes out there. And if you can’t find one, use dental wipes instead. While not quite as effective as brushing, textured dental wipes still offers the abrasion necessary to keep plaque and tartar at bayy
Oh, you don’t love spending time and money as a stranger picks, buffs, scrapes, fills or pulls your teeth? Join the club. No one says you ought to enjoy dental appointments, but that doesn’t mean you should skip them. It’s through the mouth that we breathe, eat, communicate and kiss, so it’s usually worth 45 minutes of discomfort to keep your mouth healthy. If you’re not convinced, we’ve debunked three popular excuses for skipping appointments.
Dental work is too expensive. Many of us have dropped a swollen, drool-soaked jaw upon leaving a dental appointment and hearing the cost of the procedure. In fact, more than one in three Americans delays dental care because of their financial situation, according to a 2013 survey by ORC International and Aspen Dental, which also shows that 61 percent of workers making less than $35,000 per year don’t have dental insurance. A study from Harris Interactive and the American Dental Association elaborates on the dental divide: There are those who can afford dental care, go to the dentist and have good oral health, and then there are those who can’t afford dental care, avoid the dentist and thus land with poor oral health, which is quite expensive to treat.
Yes, shelling out for fillings and cleanings can be frustrating and flat-out difficult to afford if you’re broke. But putting off these necessary appointments can cost much more in the long run. Nathan Laughrey, owner of several Aspen Dental practices in western Pennsylvania, sees many patients with decay, broken teeth and lost fillings. “If they came in right away or had routine maintenance, we could have covered them with crowns and replaced fillings – a couple hundred dollars worth of work,” he says. “But it turns into thousands of dollars worth of extractions and root canals.”
Laughrey also has patients who have had gum disease for years but didn’t recognize the warning signs – persistent bad breath and receding gums that may be red, swollen and tender, among others. So by the time they pay him a visit, he often needs to pull all their teeth. Indeed, the ADA survey shows that adults making less than $30,000 per year are more than twice as likely than those earning $30,000 or more to have had all their teeth removed.
Tooth decay and gum disease are slow, progressive problems; you don’t wake up one morning and suddenly need all your teeth pulled. At regular appointments, professionals can detect warning signs, help you prevent the diseases if you’re at risk and catch them in their early stages – before they do major damage to your mouth and wallet. “They’re easily prevented and controlled diseases,” says William Kohn, vice president of dental science and policy at Delta Dental Plans Association, and a former director of the Division of Oral Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But once they start, they’re hard to reverse. Prevention is key to dental success.”
The most obvious way to save money on dentistry, Kohn says, is to regularly spend a few bucks at the drugstore on fluoride toothpaste and floss, use the products regularly and get checkups twice a year to avoid costly dental ailments from the get-go. But if the classic “brush and floss” bit is too little too late, and you need to foot an intense bill for dental work, ask your health care provider for financing options, which may allow you to stretch payments across several months, Laughrey suggests. He also says, acknowledging that this advice could be filed under “easier said than done,” to try budgeting money specifically for dentistry, just as you would for primary care checkups.
Dental appointments are uncomfortable. Well, yeah. Health care is personal, and lying back with machinery in your mouth can make you feel vulnerable. But it is what it is, and dentistry has improved vastly in the last couple decades. “A lot of people base their fears on what they had when they were kids,” Laughrey says, “but modern dentistry is a whole lot different than it was in 1960.” Think about what specific part of dental appointments makes you cringe, and communicate that fear to your dentist, Laughrey says. If it’s the sound of the drill that curdles your blood, the dentist may suggest you bring in an iPod. If it’s a needle you fear, the dentist may try an oral sedative or topical anesthetic. “We get lumped into this big pile, like we’re sadists and enjoy inflicting pain, but it’s much easier to work on a patient who is calm,” Laughrey says. “And if you have a dentist that doesn’t cater to your whims, find another one.”
Even with a mouthful of cotton balls and drills, you have a voice with your dentist, so use it. Talk about fears and possible adjustments to curb them. Ask questions. “You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, and you should really expect to receive good answers,” Kohn says. And if the questions go unanswered? Or you feel unwarranted judgement as opposed to information and advice? Switch dentists.
I earn gold stars for my dental hygiene, and I’m in no oral pain. Kudos! Taking care of your teeth is the best way to ward off oral diseases and ailments. But often, the symptoms from the diseases won’t be obvious until they’ve progressed considerably. Cue the medical expert checking for signs and risk factors. Plus, Laughrey says, a professional cleaning is usually leagues more thorough than the brushing you do at home. If you really feel like an oral health superstar – the kind with a toothbrush at the office and a special pride for being cavity-free – then simply ask the dentist if it makes more sense to come in once a year instead of twice.
And why wait until you feel pain to see the doctor? “If you have pain, it’s usually too late,” Laughrey says. “The definition of preventative care is to find pain ahead of time, and handle it when it’s small.”
Addicted to soda? You may be shocked to learn that drinking large quantities of your favorite carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use. The consumption of illegal drugs and abusive intake of soda can cause similar damage to your mouth through the process of tooth erosion, according to a case study published in a recent issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel, which is the glossy, protective outside layer of the tooth. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored.
The General Dentistry case study compared the damage in three individuals’ mouths – an admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet soda drinker. Each participant admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion in each participant’s mouth.
“Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their ‘drug’ of choice – meth, crack, or soda,” says Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, MSc, PhD, lead author of the study.
“The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion,” says Dr. Bassiouny.
Similar to citric acid, the ingredients used in preparing methamphetamine can include extremely corrosive materials, such as battery acid, lantern fuel, and drain cleaner. Crack cocaine is highly acidic in nature, as well.
The individual who abused soda consumed 2 liters of diet soda daily for three to five years. Says Dr. Bassiouny, “The striking similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to consumers who think that soda – even diet soda – is not harmful to their oral health.”
AGD Spokesperson Eugene Antenucci, DDS, FAGD, recommends that his patients minimize their intake of soda and drink more water. Additionally, he advises them to either chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of soda. “Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal,” he says.
Consuming dairy products is vital to maintaining good overall health, and it’s especially important to bone health. But there has been little research about how dairy products affect oral health in particular. However, according to a new study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), consuming cheese and other dairy products may help protect teeth against cavities.
The study sampled 68 subjects ranging in age from 12 to 15, and the authors looked at the dental plaque pH in the subjects’ mouths before and after they consumed cheese, milk, or sugar-free yogurt. A pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, which is a process that wears away the enamel (or protective outside layer) of teeth. “The higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities,” explains Vipul Yadav, MDS, lead author of the study.
The subjects were assigned into groups randomly. Researchers instructed the first group to eat cheddar cheese, the second group to drink milk, and the third group to eat sugar-free yogurt. Each group consumed their product for three minutes and then swished with water. Researchers measured the pH level of each subject’s mouth at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption.
The groups who consumed milk and sugar-free yogurt experienced no changes in the pH levels in their mouths. Subjects who ate cheese, however, showed a rapid increase in pH levels at each time interval, suggesting that cheese has anti-cavity properties.
The study indicated that the rising pH levels from eating cheese may have occurred due to increased saliva production (the mouth’s natural way to maintain a baseline acidity level), which could be caused by the action of chewing. Additionally, various compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from acid.
“It looks like dairy does the mouth good,” says AGD spokesperson Seung-Hee Rhee, DDS, FAGD. “Not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.”
Oral bacteria can cause problems that reach far beyond the mouth. A study out of the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine followed the damage caused by bacteria after it leaves the mouth and enters the bloodstream.
Among the findings was data indicating that bacteria in fluid lubricating both knee and hip joints shared the DNA contained in dental plaques in patients with gum disease who need joint replacement.
A news release was issued on April 18, 2012, reporting that aseptic loosening or usage of artificial joints can fail within 10 years even when there is no sign of infection. Findings can be read in the April 2012 edition of the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology.
Researchers studied bacteria such as Fusobacterium nucleatum and Serratia proteamaculans to see if they were affecting patients with gum disease, whether they were found in the fluid. Findings seem to support a long-held theory that arthritis patients were being affected by the bacteria.
The study was performed with 36 patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. The joints can lose function. Wrist and finger joints are most commonly affected though any joint in the body can be targeted. RA affects women more often than men.
The age group most commonly hit is between 25 and 55 years old. Symptoms can come and go in milder cases. Severe cases of RA can experience lifelong symptoms.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). Joints experience pain, swelling and limited motion. The most commonly affected joints are the hands, hips, knees and spine, though any joint can be affected.
Cartilage, which is the slippery tissue covering the ends of bones in the joint, is damaged by OA. When cartilage is doing its job, it acts as a shock absorber. As cartilage diminishes, bones can rub together, and over time the joint becomes damaged.
If you are overweight, or have injured a joint, and as you age, your risk for osteoarthritis increases.
Patients in the study had natural and artificial joints. Their synovial fluid was examined. Synovial fluid is a lubricant of the joints. Dental plaque of these patients, who also had periodontitis (gum disease) was examined as well.
Plaque can break down walls of the pockets that surround the teeth. Bacteria caused an inflammation process allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Inflammation spread to other areas of the body, playing a role in cancer, premature births, fetal deaths and diseases of the heart and kidneys.
Routine laboratory testing will not uncover these bacteria. But bacteria in the fluid and plaque can be detected through polymerase chain reactions and DNA sequence analysis of specific genes (16S-23S rRNA).
Of the 36 participants in the study, five showed a direct correlation between the DNA of the bacteria, and the DNA in the mouth’s plaque and fluid.
One patient with rheumatoid arthritis had a failed natural joint, another with rheumatoid arthritis had a failed replacement.
Two patients with osteoarthritis had failed failed replacement joints. One patient with osteoarthritis had a failed natural joint.
It is worth noting that this was not a controlled study. People with periodontal disease who did not have joint disease were not tested. This means that researchers do not know whether or not it is normal for people with dental plaque bacteria to have it circulate in their joints.
Since the sample size and number of people affected is low in this research, more study is needed to determine if there is a connection between this aspect of oral health and joint problems
By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew, and its popularity appears to be on the rise. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that per capita consumption has increased from 13.8 lbs. in 2000 to 15.1 lbs. in 2011, which represents a 9.4 percent increase. A perfect hot weather treat and welcome addition to many recipes, watermelon is 92 percent pure H2O as its name suggests. Yet, contrary to popular belief, it is not a fruit, but a vegetable. First-cousin to squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, and cantaloupes, the watermelon is a member of the gourd family and, as such, provides immense nutritional value.
Because water makes up the bulk of its flesh, watermelon is relatively low in calories. Unfortunately, a large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars. Fructose, which is a natural fruit sugar, makes up the majority of the sugar content of watermelon. On the plus side, watermelon is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
A good source of potassium, watermelons provide vitamins A and C as well. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and may help to prevent hypertension, a risk factor for heart disease. Vitamins A and C help maintain proper vision as well as general health. In addition, watermelon contains a modest amount of dietary fiber, which is indigestible matter that promotes the movement of stool through your digestive system.
Lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant in your body, contributes to the reddish-pink hue of this melon’s flesh. Watermelon provides one of the richest dietary sources of lycopene. Numerous studies correlate high intake of lycopene-containing foods or high lycopene serum levels with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration, according to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
From Medical Daily written by:Susan Scutti
In an advance toward solving a 50-year-old mystery, scientists are reporting new evidence on how the fluoride in drinking water, toothpastes, mouth rinses and other oral-care products prevents tooth decay. Their report appears in the ACS journal Langumir.
Karin Jacobs and colleagues explain that despite a half-century of scientific research, controversy still exists over exactly how fluoride compounds reduce the risk of tooth decay. That research established long ago that fluoride helps to harden the enamel coating that protects teeth from the acid produced by decay-causing bacteria. Newer studies already found that fluoride penetrates into and hardens a much thinner layer of enamel than previously believed, lending credence to other theories about how fluoride works.
The report describes new evidence that fluoride also works by impacting the adhesion force of bacteria that stick to the teeth and produce the acid that causes cavities. The experiments — performed on artificial teeth (hydroxyapatite pellets) to enable high-precision analysis techniques — revealed that fluoride reduces the ability of decay-causing bacteria to stick, so that also on teeth, it is easier to wash away the bacteria by saliva, brushing and other activity.
From the internet: ChemEurope.com
Ah, the sweet, sweet oblivion of not knowing how many calories you’re drinking in that beer because you’ve refrained from looking it up on the Internet! Hold onto that feeling for as long as you can, if you’re the type to stick your head in the sand when it comes to nutritional info. Those facts may soon be staring you down from a bottle of wine, beer or liquor, whether you want to know or not.
Some of us are quite content not knowing what we’re putting into our bodies, others feverishly look up that information elsewhere if it’s not posted on menus or product labels. Right now, it’s not too common for wine, beer, and spirits manufacturers to add such info, but it could become more commonplace soon.
ABC news notes that the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau proposed a labeling rule in 2007 that would make it a must for alcoholic beverages to include information like calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein content right there on the label. Thus far, it hasn’t made a decision on whether or not to implement that rule.
It recently announced that if manufacturers feel like it, they could go ahead and add that info. It’s totally optional — for now.
Some companies might welcome the labels, so they can show exactly how low in calories their drinks are and targe people trying to shed pounds. And some consumers are in favor of making informed decisions about what they’re drinking.
For others, it could be a bit of a shock to see exactly what they’re putting away on an average night out.
“I think more calories come from alcohol than people think,” one told ABC.
BY: Marybeth Quirk, June 6th 2013
Researchers in China have shown that the organic component of mother of pearl can help repair damaged teeth, by acting as a template for the mineralisation of tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel is made up of rod-like crystals of hydroxyapatite, a calcium phosphate mineral. It is the hardest tissue in the body, but is susceptible to erosion by food and bacterial acids. Methods of artificially rebuilding enamel often involve extreme temperature, pressure or pH conditions that make them impractical for clinical use.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fujian Medical University, both in Fuzhou, are working towards a more feasible solution using the natural composite, nacre (mother of pearl), from the inside of mollusc shells.
Nacre is composed of layers of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate, separated by an organic matrix of proteins and biopolymers called the Water Soluble Matrix (WSM). The WSM acts as a template for aragonite crystal growth during nacre formation, so the researchers thought it might also be able to influence the structure of hydroxyapatite crystals in enamel. They tested this using extracted human molars that had been deliberately damaged with a strong acid.
The teeth were immersed in a solution containing the isolated nacre WSM from mussel shells, along with calcium and phosphate ions, for three days. Scanning electron microscope images revealed that hydroxyapatite crystals with the correct shape and orientation formed on the surface of the tooth. The new ‘enamel’ was also similar to the real thing in terms of smoothness and hardness. Without the WSM, the crystals that formed were randomly orientated.
X Li et al, CrystEngComm, 2013
From internet: ChemEurope.com
Scientists have completely mapped the structure of the protein that encases HIV’s critical genetic information, a development that could eventually lead to new drugs to fight AIDS.
A research team from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was able to use a supercomputer from the University of Illinois known as “Blue Waters” to reveal “seams” in the HIV’s capsid, the protein casing of a virus that holds its DNA. In order to be effective, the capsid has to be strong enough to protect the virus’ DNA while it is outside of a host cell, but malleable enough to break open once a virus infects a cell, allowing the virus to reprogram its host.
Scientists have long tried to develop therapies that attack HIV’s capsid, but it’s so far proved too tough to crack. Its chemical makeup had never been completely described before the University of Pittsburgh study, published Wednesday in Nature.
“HIV’s capsid is stable enough to protect the virus’ essential components, but it also has to disassociate once it enters the cell,” says Peijun Zhang, one of the authors of the study. “Understanding the interface by which it disassociates is important to developing new therapies.”
Zhang says that other researchers can now get to work on two possible lines of therapies. They can try to make the capsid “hyperstable” and unable to separate, which would make the virus harmless to humans, or they could make it less stable, destroying the virus before it has a chance to cause damage. Her team discovered a “three-helix bundle” within the capsid that could make a good target for a drug.
“When we saw the structure, we found a very critical interface for the capsid’s assembly,” she says. “A single amino acid change will lead to the breakdown of it.”
Developing long-lasting therapies for HIV has proven difficult because the virus mutates extremely quickly, making nearly every antiviral drug eventually ineffective. By physically targeting the capsid, rather than the virus’ DNA itself, researchers believe the virus will be less likely to develop resistances.
“Most therapies target the virus’ reverse transcriptase,” the process that allows the virus to reproduce, Zhang says. “This is another strategy – we can develop drugs against the parts of it that don’t mutate as much.”
Written by: Jason Koebler
US News internet