Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums (gingiva). It commonly occurs because of films of bacteria that accumulate on the teeth - plaque; this type is called plaque-induced gingivitis. Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is more serious and can eventually lead to loss of teeth. A patient with gingivitis will have red and puffy gums, and they will most likely bleed when they brush their teeth. Generally, gingivitis resolves with good oral hygiene - longer and more frequent brushing, as well as flossing. Some people find that using an antiseptic mouthwash, alongside proper tooth brushing and flossing also helps. In mild cases of gingivitis, patients may not even know they have it, because symptoms are mild.
According to a new study, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to disease. Despite the daily disturbance of brushing and flossing, the mouth of a healthy person contains a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria. New research shows that the mouth of a smoker is a much more chaotic, diverse ecosystem - and is much more susceptible to invasion by harmful bacteria. As a group, smokers suffer from higher rates of oral diseases - especially gum disease - than do nonsmokers, which is a challenge for dentists, according to PurnimaKumar, assistant professor of periodontology at Ohio State University. She and her colleagues are involved in a multi-study investigation of the role the body's microbial communities play in preventing oral disease.
Researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine have identified a genetic variation that raises the risk of developing serious necrotic jaw bone lesions in patients who take bisphosphonates, a common class of osteoclastic inhibitors. The discovery paves the way for a genetic screening test to determine who can safely take these drugs. The study appears in the online version of the journal The Oncologist. Oral bisphosphonates are currently taken by some 3 million women in the United States for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. In addition, intravenous bisphosphonates are given to thousands of cancer patients each year to control the spread of bone cancer and prevent excess calcium (hypercalcemia) from accumulating in the blood. Bisphosphonates work by binding to calcium in the bone and inhibiting osteoclasts, bone cells that break down the bone's mineral structure.
The hardest substance in the human body is moved by its strongest muscles: When we heartily bite into an apple or a schnitzel, enormous strengths are working on the surface of our teeth. "What the natural tooth enamel has to endure also goes for dentures, inlays or bridges", glass chemist Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian Russel of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) says. After all, these are worn as much as healthy teeth. Ceramic materials used so far are not very suitable for bridges, as their strengths are mostly not high enough. Now Prof. Russel and his colleagues of the Otto-Schott-Institute for Glass Chemistry succeeded in producing a new kind of glass ceramic with a nanocrystalline structure, which seems to be well suited to be used in dentistry due to their high strength and its optical characteristics.
Scientists are reporting identification of two substances in licorice - used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine - that kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss in children and adults. In a study in ACS' Journal of Natural Products, they say that these substances could have a role in treating and preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Stefan Gafner and colleagues explain that the dried root of the licorice plant is a common treatment in Chinese traditional medicine, especially as a way to enhance the activity of other herbal ingredients or as a flavoring. Despite the popularity of licorice candy in the U.S., licorice root has been replaced in domestic candy with anise oil, which has a similar flavor. Traditional medical practitioners use dried licorice root to treat various ailments, such as respiratory and digestive problems, but few modern scientific studies address whether licorice really works.