From the category archives:


What is periodontitis?

by admin on June 25, 2009

Periodontitis is a oral disease in which there is loss of bone in the jaw. This bone is essential in holding the teeth in place in the jaw.

Periodontitis is one of the largest problems in dental hygiene in the U.S. it ranks second only to cavities. The American Academy of Periodontology have data that states that in the U.S, 30-55 percent of adults are affected by Periodontitis in a mild to moderate form. The percentage of the less fortunate people who suffer from a more severe stage of Periodontitis is 5 to 20 percent of the population.

Healthy human tissues regenerate themselves over a period of time.In Peridontitis, however, the rate of loss of the bone material is much faster than the rate of its regeneration. Though scientists have come to understand how bone material is lost, they have not yet found out a clear reason why new bone formation could be impaired.

What causes Periodontitis?

According to a new paper by UCLA researchers, it is suggested that a master protein may control the impairment of bone formation in the serious gum disease called Periodontitis.

In another paper published in the online edition of the journal Nature Medicine, researchers have again suggested that a master protein is involved heavily in the process of degeneration of the jawbone structure. They have identified a protein called nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB). They say it is this protein that is responsible for inhibiting regeneration of the bone material. Arresting the function of this master protein, called nuclear factor-kB, will help in maintaining the bone formation.

This NF-kB protein was recognized to play a part in cells that are responsible for resorbing bone. This is what could lead to loss of bone, or impairment of regeneration of bone material.

Research and development in treating Periodontitis.

Research and development in arresting degeneration of the jawbone and finding effective treatment for periodontitis is ongoing in order to improve oral hygiene and health. The UCLA researchers have used a different approach in their study of the NF-kB protein.

They have turned around their focus from the role of the NF-kB protein in cells that results in reabsorbing the bone and have chosen to look at the role it plays and its effects in inhibiting cells that are responsible in forming bone instead. They hope this will lead to better understanding of the dreadful disease and thus a better treatment of the disease eventually resulting in better oral health.

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Origins of dentistry

by admin on June 25, 2009

Dentistry is certainly not a new profession that has come in to being in recent times. History has evidence that skilled dentists existed as far back in time as 2500 years ago. This is proven by the fact that many a Native Americans improved the look of their teeth.

Just like other forms of body decoration, they decorated their teeth by carving notches, grooves and even put in semi precious stones that added to the brilliance of their smiles! It seems that elephant tusks are not the only teeth to be embellished in this manner, human teeth were decorated too. This is especially true of Mayans, who as we now know, were very advanced in their knowledge and wisdom. In fact their calendars are still used as reference in modern times.

Archaeology and Anthropology substantiate facts.

These interesting historical facts are brought to light by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. They have a collection of ancient skulls that date back to the Mayan times.

It is clear from this that the need or want for beauty has existed since time immemorial. Among some teeth found in those collections at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, scientists cannot really pinpoint the origins of some teeth that belonged to people living in a region labeled “Mesoamerica”, which existed in the sixteenth century before the historical invasions of the Spanish.
José Concepción Jiménez, an anthropologist at the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology, further adds that these teeth decorations had nothing to do with social class or a system of hierarchy that the natives belonged to. This is backed by the fact that the Red Queen, (royals in those days) a Maya mummy that was discovered in a temple at Palenque in what is now Mexico didn’t have teeth decorations.

Teeth beautification was commonly used by all purely for enhancing the beauty of their teeth, just as body tattoos were. More interestingly, men were more inclined to decorate their teeth than were women. Another discovery of a skull of a person, who had a ceremonial denture, is further evidence that dentistry existed in ancient times.

Knowledge, skill and materials used by dentist in ancient times.

Dentists were highly knowledgeable even in ancient times. This is highlighted by the fact that to drill into the teeth, they used hard stone for example obsidian, which is strong and hard and can puncture bones. Drilling and any form of cosmetic or restorative dental work can be painful, and the possibility of using herbs to kill any pain, before and after the procedure, cannot be ruled out.

The fact the dentistry was really advanced in those times is proven by the evidence that those dentists had the skill and technology to drill into the teeth without touching the delicate pulp in the tooth, it seems like they did know the importance of avoiding that and knew the damage caused by infection could result in loss of the tooth or teeth.

According to Jiménez, to bond semi precious stones like jade, to the teeth, they used a paste made of natural resins, such as plant sap, which was mixed with other natural chemicals and crushed bones. This was certainly long lasting, as the semi precious stones are still in place after hundreds of years!

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5 Tips to save on Dental Costs

June 15, 2009

Dental treatment is known to be very expensive in the United States, in Europe and Australia. It is a necessary cost in order to maintain dental health and if only one could save money on dental treatment costs, it would make so much of a difference to one’s budget. It is said that saving money […]

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Does dental care prevent heart attacks?

June 10, 2009

How can teeth, a part of the body so relatively insignificant, that it can even be pulled out almost at will, have an effect on one of the most important and almost irreplaceable body parts – the heart? For decades, most scientists and reflexology practitioners have argued how each part of your body is connected […]

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Rights of a Dental Patient

May 27, 2009

Your rights as a dental patient: As a dental patient, you have certain rights. It is the duty of the dental clinic to make sure you are aware of your rights. Most dental clinics and associations will post these rights on a bulletin board in the reception area, or in their brochure, website or any […]

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Pregnancy and Dental Health

May 26, 2009

It is very important for women who are pregnant, and those who are contemplating pregnancy to ensure that they are in perfect health, physically, mentally and emotionally. When speaking of physical health, it is important that special attention is paid to dental health and hygiene. In case this is neglected, it could have a bad […]

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Do You Have A Gummy Smile?

May 22, 2009

What is a ‘Gummy Smile’? When a person smiles, his or her gums tend to go beyond the normal length overlapping the teeth and thus showing a more red (gums) and less white (teeth), appearance in the mouth. Here the gingival tissue seen far exceeds the upper teeth. Causes: Distorted gum development: When teeth grow […]

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Sedation Dentistry

May 21, 2009

Sedation dentistry is a solution for the all too common condition befalling those who need dental care – dental phobia. A visit to the dentist is major cause of concern for almost 30 percent of the general population, as per the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS Education). DOCS Education is a professional organization that […]

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What is Invisalign?

May 21, 2009

Invisalign (otherwise incorrectly known as Invisaline) are transparent braces for the teeth that are used as an alternative to metal braces or brackets. Invisalign is more popular as the appliance is “invisible” and does not compromise on the facial appearance, while fixing the teeth alignment. Invisalign was developed by Align Technologies in 1999. It uses […]

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Fluoride and Dental Health

May 21, 2009

The degree of tooth decay has reduced significantly in recent decades, both in the United States and abroad. As per the American Dental Association (ADA) this is due to fluoridated water and other fluoride sources being made widely available to the public. Benefits of Fluoride Fluoride is a substance that occurs naturally in water sources. […]

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