Nov 16th, 2009
Though it may seem odd, good oral care such as regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist, may help aging adults keep their thinking skills intact, according to a U.S. study. Research has already established an association between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York found that gum disease could also influence brain function through several mechanisms, such as causing inflammation throughout the body, which is a risk factor for loss of mental function. The study also found that adults with the highest levels of this pathogen were two times more likely to fail three-digit reverse subtraction tests.
The study, reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, was based on more than 2,350 men and women who were tested for periodontitis and completed numerous thinking skills tests as part of a national survey.
Overall 5.7 percent of the adults had trouble completing certain memory tasks, 6.5 percent had impaired delayed recall, and 22.1 percent had trouble with serial subtractions.
But those with the levels of the pathogen were nearly three times more likely to struggle with the verbal memory tests, and twice as likely to fail on both delayed verbal recall and subtraction tests.
“Although our results are preliminary, they suggest that further exploration of relationships between oral health and cognition is warranted,” they concluded, “Although results presented here are preliminary and inconclusive, a growing body of evidence supports exploration of a possible association between poor oral health and incident dementia.”
Nov 9th, 2009
The hot topic in the dental world these days is tooth whitening. The long and the short of it is that teeth whitening works. Virtually everyone who opts for this cosmetic treatment will see moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of their smile.
Typically, age, eating habits, smoking, tooth grinding, and trauma are associated with tooth discoloration. The majority of patients say that tooth whitening not only improves their appearance, but also their outlook – they say they feel like they look younger and more polished.
Bleaching versus Whitening
According to the FDA, the term “bleaching” is used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach – typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
Meanwhile, “whitening,” restores a tooth’s surface color by removing dirt and debris. So any product that cleans (like a toothpaste) is considered a whitener. Of course, the term whitening sounds better than bleaching, so it is more frequently used – even when describing products that contain bleach.
Significant color change in a short period of time is the major benefit of in-office whitening. This involves the carefully controlled use of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, applied to the teeth by the dentist or trained technician after the gums have been protected with a paint-on rubber dam. Generally, the peroxide remains on the teeth for several 15 to 20 minute intervals that add up to an hour (at most).
Those with particularly stubborn staining may be advised to return for one or more additional bleaching sessions, or may be asked to continue with a home-use whitening system.
In-office teeth whitening cost: $650 per visit is the national average.