Dr Mark O'Donnell B.D.S
Monday - Thursday
Tuesday and Friday mornings
News - August 2016
New treatment increases plaque removal 5,000-fold
The bacteria that live in dental plaque and contribute to tooth decay often resist traditional antimicrobial treatment, as they can ‘hide’ within a sticky biofilm matrix.
A new strategy conceived by University of Pennsylvania researchers took a more sophisticated approach. Instead of simply applying an antibiotic to the teeth, they took advantage of the pH-sensitive and enzyme-like properties of nanoparticles to catalyse the activity of hydrogen peroxide. The activated hydrogen peroxide produced free radicals that were able to degrade the biofilm matrix and kill the bacteria within, significantly reducing plaque and preventing tooth decay.
"Even using a very low concentration of hydrogen peroxide, the process was incredibly effective at disrupting the biofilm," said Hyun (Michel) Koo, a professor in the Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and senior author of the study: "Adding nanoparticles increased the efficiency of bacterial killing more than 5,000-fold”.
The researchers confirmed that the nanoparticles adhered to the biofilm, were retained even after treatment stopped and could effectively catalyse hydrogen peroxide.
They showed that the nanoparticles' reaction with a 1% or less hydrogen peroxide solution was remarkably effective at killing bacteria, wiping out more than 99.9% of the it in the biofilm within five minutes, an efficacy more than 5,000 times greater than using hydrogen peroxide alone. Even more promising, they demonstrated that the treatment regimen, involving a 30-second topical treatment of the nanoparticles followed by a 30-second treatment with hydrogen peroxide, could break down the biofilm matrix components, essentially removing it.
Evidence shows children strongly benefit from sealants
A systematic review and updated clinical practice guidelines published in an article in The Journal of the American Dental Association give a clear indication to dental professionals of the benefit of the use of sealants in preventing and managing occlusal cavities in children and adolescents.
“The guidelines show that sealants are more effective in managing pit and fissure caries than fluoride treatments, such as varnish,” said Dr John Timothy Wright, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and lead author of the article.
The American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs and Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, convened a working group to update sealant guidelines, which the Council first developed in 2008. The working group, which included clinical experts, stakeholders and methodologists, undertook a systematic review that informed development of the evidence-based guidelines.
The group’s literature search identified 23 relevant clinical trials evaluating sealants and their ability to prevent or manage dental cavities for two years or longer, and the group included the data from all of the clinical trials in their analysis, Dr Wright said.
Dental implants for missing teeth
Having all of your teeth missing used to mean that you had to wear dentures, but that’s changed. More people than ever are getting dental implants for missing teeth because of how reliable, safe and effective the procedure is.
What exactly are dental implants?
Implants use artificial tooth roots that are anchored into the jaw just like natural teeth. They are made out of titanium, which is often used for procedures like joint replacements because of how well the body accepts the material. In fact, your jaw will usually begin to form new bone around an implant once it is placed.
When you take care of your implants, they can last for the rest of your life. Most have a success rate greater than 97%, making the procedure the most reliable type of restoration used in modern dentistry.
How many teeth can you replace?
You can use dental implants for as many teeth that need to be replaced. Single implants can support porcelain crowns, or you can use two implants to support a multi-tooth dental bridge. If you need to replace all of your teeth at one time, implant-supported dentures are available.
When to call your dentist
Your first step should be to schedule a consultation with your dentist to see if you’re a candidate for implants. Plan enough time for a brief exam, x-rays, and possibly a series of dental impressions so your dentist can fully determine whether or not implants are right for your unique needs.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is one of the top reasons why people visit the dentist. It’s no surprise why – bad breath affects the sufferer and the people around them. There are many factors that contribute to bad breath.
Food: food with strong odours remains on your breath until the food has passed through your body completely. Brushing and mouthwash only covers the smell temporarily.
Poor oral hygiene: regular brushing and flossing removes food particles that help bacteria grow in your mouth and cause bad breath.
Medicine: some medications have side effects like dry mouth, which increases the likelihood of your breath smelling.
Mouth breathing: bad breath can also be caused by breathing through your mouth or snoring at night.
Tobacco: tobacco products have an unpleasant smell and contribute to dry mouth and gum disease. Both of these cause bad breath.
Dentures: if you have dentures that are not regularly cleaned, they will begin to smell. In addition, if your dentures are not fitted properly, food particles can get stuck and cause bad breath.
There are a variety of options for the treatment of bad breath. Practicing good oral hygiene is by far the best. Professional cleanings are an important part of prevention. Regular visits to the dentist will also benefit your oral health. Also, dentists can detect issues like gum disease and dry mouth.
You should also drink plenty of water and avoid foods that may trigger bad breath. Finally, try chewing gum with xylitol to help remove food particles and bacteria.