Category Archives: Dental Health

Laser Treatment to Regrow Dental Tissue

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Laser Treatment to Regrow Dental Tissue

Dental technology is taking huge steps forward in many areas, with recent breakthroughs in laser treatment to regrow dental tissue being one of the most exciting developments in recent years.

Humans only have two sets of teeth in their lifetime, and any loss of adult teeth leaves a gap that has to be filled artificially. Using laser technology to regenerate dental damage could lead to a future where less invasive treatment is necessary.

In 2014, US scientists published their findings on using low-power laser technology to stimulate stem cell growth into forming dentine. The study was successful in rats, mice, and human stem cells, with dental damage showing signs of reversal after 12 weeks.

Laser treatment is not an unusual tool for dental practitioners, something which the researchers hope will mean there is a low barrier to uptake once the technology has been proven to work on humans. Researcher and Senior Author Professor David Mooney said: “Our treatment modality does not introduce anything new to the body, and lasers are routinely used in medicine and dentistry, so the barriers to clinical translation are low. It would be a substantial advance in the field if we can regenerate teeth rather than replace them.”

The research is ongoing, with Dr. Praveen Arany recently receiving the 2016 Dr. Horace Furumoto Innovations Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery for his work in the research. Whilst laser treatment to regenerate dental damage may be a decade or so away, it’s still closer on the horizon than it ever has been.

Scientists Can Regrow Teeth With Lasers [via Business Insider]

Liverpool Launches Sugary Drink Awareness Campaign

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Sugary Drink Awareness Campaign - Liverpool

The city of Liverpool has launched a sugary drink awareness campaign to combat the rising levels of tooth decay and dental treatment in young children. Titled “Is your child’s sweet tooth harming their health?“, the drive is the first of its kind in the UK, with a city council actively campaigning against the high levels of sugar in soft drinks.

Liverpool City Council has produced displays for dental surgeries, GP surgeries, hospitals and other centres which host children’s services. In a simple and stark graphic, seven popular soft drinks are shown beside their sugar content, most of which goes many times over the recommended daily allowance.

Talking about the research undertaken by the council for the campaign, the city’s Director of Public Health, Sandra Davies, said: “I was astounded when we found out quite how much sugar was in some of these drinks. Some of the sugar levels are … astounding. You can consume as much as your daily maximum recommended amount of sugar, or even double that, even if you have just one of these drinks. This is an educational campaign. We are targeting this at families to show how much sugar is in there, because people often don’t realise that.”

The off-the-chart sugar content of these soft drinks is a sobering sight, and hopefully one which parents will heed. It will take some time to see the benefits of this campaign, but this action by Liverpool City Council and the increased discussion about a UK Sugar Tax is a step in the right direction in the battle against high sugar content levels in soft drinks and the myriad of health and dental problems that it causes.

High sugar drinks named in drive to beat tooth decay [Via Liverpool Express]

5 Natural Alternatives to Chewing Gum

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Natural Alternatives to Chewing Gum

Chewing gum can be an expensive habit, and depending on the type you use, can be bad for your teeth. Beyond oral health, chewing gum can look ugly and is costly to clean up. With this in mind, we’ve found some clean, natural, and (most importantly!) great tasting alternatives to chewing gum which can give the same breath freshening results with none of associated expense or waste.

 5 Natural Alternatives to Chewing Gum

MintNatural Alternatives to Chewing Gum - Mint

Most dental products such as toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash and chewing gum are mint-flavoured, so why not go right to the source? A couple of mint leaves after a meal or coffee can quickly freshen breath. Mint can be bought pre-cut in many grocery stores or supermarkets, and can be easily grown at home as an attractive and very useful plant.

Natural Alternatives to Chewing Gum - Liquorice Licorice

Liquorice Root

Liquorice (or Licorice) can be a love-it-or-hate-it flavour. If you love it, then it makes an excellent natural chewing gum replacement. A stick of liquorice root is naturally sweet, has a distinctive flavour, and will help eliminate bad breath. Liquorice root can often be found in specialist health stores and some bigger supermarkets.

 

Natural Alternatives to Chewing Gum - Cloves

Cloves

Commonly associated with Christmas, you can have a mulled wine flavour all year round and freshen your breath at the same time! Cloves also have a slightly numbing effect, which can be soothing for dental pain. Overuse can sometimes lead to irritation, so use in moderation. Cloves are cheap and easy to find. They are also very portable and long-lasting.

 

Natural Alternatives to Chewing Gum - Ginger

Root Ginger

Zesty and tangy, root ginger is very effective at freshening breath. Root ginger takes some preparation such as chopping and peeling, but its effects are almost instantaneous. Root ginger’s benefits go beyond dental health and chewing gum alternatives – it’s a natural remedy for colds and the associated symptoms, such as sore throats and low body temperature.

 

Natural Alternatives to Chewing Gum - Parsley

Parsley

Like mint, Parsley is easy to obtain both pre-cut and potted from grocery stores and supermarkets. It can be trickier to grow at home, but whichever way you choose to purchase it, its excellent use as a chewing gum replacement is undeniable.

Campaign Launched for European Gum Health Awareness Day

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European Gum Health Awareness Day - #howsyoursmile Campaign

The British Society of Periodontology (BSP) has launched a #howsyoursmile campaign for the European Federation of Periodontology’s 2016 European Gum Health Awareness Day today. Periodontal disease affects the gums, bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth. More than 45% of UK adults are affected, and it has known links to other serious conditions.  In order to raise awareness of the disease and promote better gum health, the BSP has launched a How’s Your Smile? website with a host of information and activities, including “mouth cards” for people to print and use in selfies (or, in the term of the campaign “mouthies”) with the hashtag #howsyoursmile.

Working with organisations such as the British Association of Dental Nurses, Public Health England and the British Society of Dental Hygienists and Therapists, the BSP’s President. Dr. Phil Ower explained the campaign: “As gum disease is a serious public health issue, affecting the quality of life of over half the population, we felt it was time to shout a little louder.”

The central aims of the campaign are to:

  • To raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of gum disease
  • To jolt people into realising that gum disease should not be ignored
  • To drive action and encourage people to see a dental professional to have their gum health checked and improve their gum health
  • To encourage people to participate in the campaign and help spread our message

Update: Companies Consider UK Sugar Tax Challenge

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UK Sugar tax challenge

Soft drink companies may be mounting a UK Sugar Tax challenge. Announced as part of George Osborne’s budget, a Sugar Tax is proposed to take effect in 2018 in an effort to tackle rising rates of obesity and poor dental health.

Representatives from large manufacturers such as Britvic, Coca Cola and AG Barr are currently undertaking discussions with the government. This is in an attempt to avoid a long and expensive legal battle.

Such legal actions have been successful in both Denmark and Finland, where manufacturers argued that their products were being singled out unfairly in comparison to products such as fruit juices. Fruit juices and even milkshakes can often have a comparably high sugar level with soft drinks.

A UK Sugar Tax challenge from soft drink manufacturers was to be expected. Large global companies have a track record in challenging any risk to their profit margins. These profits also allow them to run long legal campaigns, which governments often do not have the time or funds to fight. Whether the Westminster government can push the tax through despite the legal and fiscal power of these companies is an ongoing story which we will keep an eye on.

Sugar Tax: Soft Drink Giants to Sue Government [via the Week]

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