Dr Mark O'Donnell B.D.S

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News - May 2016

Could a probiotic pill prevent dental cavities?

dfdfd Dealing with cavities could one day be as simple as taking a supplement to keep unwanted bacteria in check, according to findings published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Dental cavities are a huge problem, exacerbated by consumption of sugary foods and drinks, lack of oral hygiene and not paying regular visits to the dentist. For the mouth to stay healthy, pH levels must be neutral. Too much acid can cause dental cavities or other disorders.
Researchers at the University of Florida (UF) College of Dentistry have discovered a new strain of bacteria that could keep bad bacteria under control, and pave the way to using probiotics to prevent cavities.
Part of the answer is a previously unidentified strain of Streptococcus, currently called A12. Over 2,000 bacteria were screened, and of these, A12 had all the properties needed to prevent cavities probiotically. Researchers hope to use the findings to develop a screening tool for people with a higher risk of developing cavities, alongside other factors, such as diet and oral hygiene habits. If they can confirm that people with a higher level of A12 develop fewer cavities, A12 could be used to measure for cavity risk.
Then, just as we might use a probiotic approach to the gut to promote health, a similar strategy could be effective for the mouth.

From www.medicalnewstoday.com


Cigarette smoking alters the mouth microbiota

dfdfdSmoking significantly changes the mouth's microbiome, with potential implications for tooth decay and the ability to break down toxins, according to results published in the ISME (International Society for Microbial Ecology) Journal.
There are around 600 species of bacteria in the human mouth. Over 75% of oral cancers are thought to be linked to smoking, but it remains unclear whether microbial differences in the mouth affect the risk of cancer. Researchers from New York University Langone Medical Centre have been investigating the impact of smoking on the composition and action of oral microbiota.
The team used mouthwash samples from 1,204 adults. Among them were 112 smokers and 521 individuals with no history of smoking. There were also 571 people who had quit smoking, 17% of them having stopped within the past 10 years.
Results suggest that the oral microbiome of smokers is significantly different from that of people who have never smoked or are no longer smoking. In the mouths of smokers, the levels of 150 bacterial species were significantly higher, while levels of 70 other species were distinctly lower.
Proteobacteria are less common in the mouths of smokers. Proteobacteria are thought to play a part in breaking down the toxic chemicals introduced by smoking.
On quitting smoking, however, the oral microbiome appears to return to its previous state. In people who had smoked previously, but not in the last 10 years, the microbial balance was the same as in the mouths of nonsmokers.

From www.medicalnewstoday.com


Pancreatic cancer risk linked to changes in mouth bacteria


The presence of certain bacteria in the mouth may indicate a raised risk of pancreatic cancer – a disease that often begins with no symptoms and for which there is no routine screening test. This was the main conclusion of a study led by NYU Langone in New York, USA.
The researchers suggest that the finding may lead to earlier, more precise treatments for pancreatic cancer. A history of gum disease and poor oral health has been linked to raised risk of pancreatic cancer. Senior author Dr Jiyoung Ahn of NYU School of Medicine, says: "Our study offers the first direct evidence that specific changes in the microbial mix in the mouth – the oral microbiome – represent a likely risk factor for pancreatic cancer”.
For their study, the team compared mouth bacteria sampled from 361 men and women before they developed pancreatic cancer with those sampled from 371 similar individuals who did not develop the disease. When they analysed the results, Prof. Ahn and colleagues found that participants whose mouth bacteria contained either of two certain types had a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, compared with participants whose oral microbiome showed no evidence of the microorganisms.
Specifically, they found that the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis was linked to a 59% overall higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Similarly, presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans was linked to a 50% overall higher risk. Both types of bacteria are known to be associated with gum disease or periodontitis.

From www.medicalnewstoday.com


Gum disease may be treatable with bioceramic material

dfdfdGum disease is a major cause of tooth loss and is a challenge to treat. Now, new research suggests that silicon nitride – a ceramic material used in spinal implants – could lead to effective new gum disease treatments. Periodontitis is a serious, chronic, non-communicable gum disease that damages the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Estimates suggest that it affects 15-20% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 years.
The disease starts when the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis infects the tissue around the teeth, giving rise to gum inflammation. If this is not treated, the condition progresses and the bacteria begin to eat away at the bone around the teeth.
Untreated gum disease not only leads to tooth loss, but it also raises the risk of heart attack or stroke. Treatment options include deep cleaning – such as scaling and root planing – to remove the built-up plaque that harbours bacteria, plus antibiotics and surgery.
However, awareness that P. gingivalis – like other types of bacteria – perishes on contact with the surface of silicon nitride, has led researchers to wonder if this could lead to a new type of treatment.
In the journal Langmuir, a multidisciplinary team from Japan and the US described how, after only six days of exposure, the chemical reactions with the ceramic material degraded the nucleic acids in the bacterial cells, which, in turn, dramatically reduced their ability to produce essential proteins and fats.

From www.medicalnewstoday.com