Research on facial pain syndromes and Cavity Osteonecrosis has uncovered a dire realization; the jaw bone seems to be a frequent harbor for aseptic necrosis, a condition also found in the femoral head which results in poor blood supply to the bone’s area. As a result, many extractions sites that appear to have healed have actually not done so completely. The scenario will often cause pain on areas of the face, head and other distant parts. Although such sites actually do not display any symptoms at all, pathological research has revealed that a combination of dead bone and slowly growing anaerobics will undoubtedly result in a soup of highly toxic waste products which causes cavities.
The scenario has alarmed dental clinicians/proponents. Scientists in the domain have implicated diverse factors ranging from oral surgery methods to clotting factors resulting from microbial/endogenous pathogenesis. This is a new emerging disease entity, though G.V. Black introduced the “bone caries” phenomenon over a hundred years ago.
Cavities are the most common reason why people usually pay a visit to the dentist; according to a study by the WHO, around 75% of children and nearly 100% of adults worldwide are a victim to dental cavities, a result of a continuous breakdown of tooth enamel.
In order to gain more insight into the composition of dental enamel scientists from the University of Sydney have developed 3-D maps using atom probe tomography that are able to trace the movement and interaction of ions within the intricate structure of tooth enamel. The mapping also shed light on some key processes taking place within the structure of enamel- researchers found direct evidence of a phosphate-governed phase, and according to lead researcher Dr. Alexandre La Fontaine, the technology could open up a gateway for new treatments designed to help “[protect] against the dissolution of this specific amorphous phase.”
With nanotechnology becoming an ever-important factor in technological improvements in the dental world, it would be a wise decision to focus efforts on experimenting with it. Dental technology is still a relatively new area, and there are tons of discoveries that can arise in the next decade or so!
A six year research project at the University of the Pacific has concluded that tele-dentistry is an efficient methodology to deliver oral care to those who lack it. Initiating “virtual dental homes” to schools, nursing homes and long-term health institutions can in turn negate school absenteeism, plus the need for parents to leave work to care for an ailing child. The Higher Education institution developed a tele-dentistry system and assessed its performance on more than 3000 patients across California since 2010. The project was facilitated with around $5 million in state/federal funds. The community-based oral care approach employs tele-health technology that brings in access to a pool of trained dental specialists and hygienists where salient information can be shared in real time. Harmon Johnson Elementary school was among the first institutions to open a virtual dental home. The school oral home is a cheery room, next to the cafeteria, where a part-time specialist examines the pupils’ teeth via tele-health, and in turn cleans their teeth, treats oral decays while teaching about brushing/flossing techniques and enamel enhancing nutrition. Having this on site makes life easier for everyone involved; parents don’t have to find time to take their children to the dentist, the kids don’t have to make up the work they missed in class, and teachers don’t have to worry about the amount of content instruction the student has missed.
Having dental homes in community locations such as schools makes a lot of sense for the future of dental care and will encourage more preventative dental health check-ups; a great idea for any community!
A study project at the Helsinki University has revealed that an infection on the tooth’s root tip could cause coronary heart disease, even in cases where such an infection lacks symptoms. Dental root tip infections are very hard to detect, with only a slight possibility via xray. It’s most common cause is tooth decay/crumbling from microbial invasion in the dental pulp. The research uncovered a hidden connection between oral ailments and common chronic disorder. As an example, periodontitis, an inflammatory disease affecting the teeth’s surrounding tissues, was found to be a contributing factor to artery disorder/disease and diabetes. The project team incorporated valuable data collection from around 500 Finnish patients with an average age of 60 years and were experiencing heart ailments at the time of study. Their teeth and jaws were carefully examined via panoramic tomography technology, and a staggering 60 percent were found to be inhabiting inflammatory lesions; this being attributed to increased levels of serum antibodies catering for root tip infections.
I’ve been told more than several times on my monthly visits to the orthodontist that I need to take better care of my teeth. The buildup of plaque from food residue and leftovers can slowly harden up over time, creating an environment ripe for cavities and tooth decay.
But most of us are aware of these risks- the fact that bad dental hygiene leads to gingivitis, cavities, and periodontitis is a mantra that has been repeated over and over again by dental practitioners all around the world. Yet recent research has shown that there are even more exterior harms that can arise as a result of bad hygiene.
Take, for instance, Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2010, researchers from NYU looked at the cognitive test scores of subjects between the ages of 50 to 70, and concluded that those with gum inflammation scored consistently lower than those who kept their teeth healthy. New analysis also found the presence of a bacterium- “Porphyromonas ginivalis” – in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients that is associated with chronic gum disease. It’s been theorized that the bacterium, which is usually found in diseased gums, enters its way into the brain tissue via the roots of teeth, nervous system, the circulatory system when the gums start to bleed, and is a potential source of Alzheimer’s disease.
A second tangible benefit to healthy teeth is the lowered risk of heart disease. Researchers have found a correlation between bleeding gums and cardiovascular disease. In patients with bleeding gums, bacteria from the mouth are able to enter the circulatory system. There, the bacteria are able to surround themselves with platelets, and this “armor” shields them from potential antibody attacks. As they move up the bloodstream, they can form blood clots and interrupt the flow of blood to the heart- increasing the risk for a heart attack.