Archive | July, 2009

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School Of Dentistry Studies Link Between Oral Health And Memory

Posted on 27 July 2009 by admin

Keeping your teeth brushed and flossed can cut down on gum disease, drastically reducing risk of heart attack and stroke, dentists have warned for years. Now researchers at West Virginia University have found a clean mouth may also help preserve memory.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $1.3 million grant over four years to funyc-dentist-connection-between-a-healthy-mouth-and-memoryrther build on studies linking gum disease and mild to moderate memory loss.

“Older people might want to know there’s more reason to keep their mouths clean — to brush and floss — than ever,” said Richard Crout, D.M.D., Ph.D., an expert on gum disease and associate dean for research in the WVU School of Dentistry. “You’ll not only be more likely to keep your teeth, but you’ll also reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and memory loss.”

Crout will share the grant with gerontologist Bei Wu, Ph.D., formerly of WVU and now a researcher at the University of North Carolina; Brenda L. Plassman, Ph.D., of Duke University, a nationally recognized scientist in the field of memory research; and Jersey Liang, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Michigan. Wu is the principal investigator.

The team will look at health records over many years of several thousand Americans.

“This could have great implications for health of our aging populations,” Crout said. “With rates of Alzheimer’s skyrocketing, imagine the benefits of knowing that keeping the mouth free of infection could cut down on cases of dementia.”

The research builds on an ongoing study of West Virginians aged 70 and older. Working with the WVU School of Medicine, School of Dentistry researchers have given oral exams and memory tests to 270 elderly people in more than a dozen West Virginia counties.

Funded by a $419,000 two-year grant, they’ve discovered that about 23 percent of the group suffers from mild to moderate memory loss.

A blood draw is also part of the study for research subjects who agree.

“If you have a gum infection, you’ll have an increased level of inflammatory byproducts,” Crout explained. “We’re looking for markers in the blood that show inflammation to see if there is a link to memory problems. We’d like to go full circle and do an intervention — to clean up some of the problems in the mouth and then see if the inflammatory markers go down.”

Researchers don’t yet understand whether microorganisms in the mouth create health problems or whether the body’s inflammatory response is to blame. It may be a combination of both. Researchers also don’t know much about mild to moderate memory loss, even though the connection between severe dementia and gum disease is well-known, Crout said.

In the future, dentists may routinely administer memory tests to their older patients, he said.

“A dentist may see a longtime, older patient with an area of the mouth that’s showing signs of inflammation because of not being properly cleaned daily,” Crout said. “Many times we as clinicians, however, don’t think of this as due to a memory problem. The patient may not be flossing or brushing properly as we have instructed they should. But this research indicates that the problem may be due to memory loss as opposed to noncompliance.”

Daniell Mishaan, D.M.D. is a dentist in the Garment District in midtown Manhattan. He serves patients from all over New York City and is open Sundays for all patients including emergencies.

Source: West Virginia University Health Sciences Center


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Eat for a Beautiful Smile- what you eat affects your teeth and gums too!

Posted on 17 July 2009 by admin

A FEW SIMPLE CHANGES TO YOUR DIET CAN HELP KEEP YOUR TEETH HEALTHY FOR LIFE.

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You brush, you floss, you see your dentist, but do you eat with your oral health in mind? And it’s not just the usual suspects like sugar that may be harmful. Some surprising–even healthy–foods can cause cavities, while others can help protect you from decay, gum disease, and even bad breath. Here, how to tailor your diet for optimal dental health.

Eat carbs at mealtimes
A handful of potato chips or even a whole wheat roll can be just as damaging to your teeth and gums as a chocolate chip cookie. All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars, which are ultimately converted by bacteria in the mouth into plaque, a sticky residue that is the primary cause of gum disease and cavities. Carb-based foods such as breads and crackers tend to have “a chewy, adhesive texture,” making it easier for them to get caught between teeth or under the gum line, where bacteria can then accumulate, says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Have carbs at mealtimes rather than as a snack: When you eat a larger amount of food, you produce more saliva, which helps wash food particles away.

Drink tea Black and green teas contain polyphenols, antioxidant plant compounds that prevent plaque from adhering to your teeth and help reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. “Tea also has potential for reducing bad breath because it inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause the odor,” explains Christine D. Wu, PhD, associate dean for research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, who has conducted several studies on tea and oral health. Many teas also contain fluoride (from the leaves and the water it’s steeped in), which helps protect tooth enamel from decay.

Sip with a straw
Most sodas, sports drinks, and juices contain acids, such as citric and phosphoric, that can erode dental enamel–even if they’re diet or sugar-free versions. Sipping acidic drinks through a straw positioned toward the back of your mouth limits their contact with your teeth and helps preserve the enamel, says a study in the British Dental Journal.

Increase your C intake
“Vitamin C is the cement that holds all of your cells together, so just as it’s vital for your skin, it’s important for the health of your gum tissue,” says Jones. People who consumed less than 60 mg per day of C (8 ounces of orange juice or one orange contains more than 80 mg) were 25% more likely to have gum disease than people who took in 180 mg or more, according to a study of over 12,000 US adults conducted at the State University of New York University at Buffalo.

Eat 800 mg of calcium a day
People who do are less likely to develop severe gum disease, says a recent study by the Buffalo researchers. The reason: About 99% of the calcium in your body is in your bones and teeth. Dietary calcium–available in foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt–strengthens the alveolar bone in the jaw, which helps hold your teeth in place. The recommended amount is 1,000 mg per day for women younger than 50 and 1,200 mg for those older.

Dr. Daniell Mishaan, is a dentist in Midtown, New York City. For more information about what kind of preventive measures you can take to protect your teeth- please click here.

For More information- feel free to check out the following link: http://www.prevention.com/loveyoursmile/index.shtml

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