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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

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Oral health is the gateway to overall health!


Learn more about the Calcium Crisis

Mistletoe Kisses: Spreading More than Holiday Tidings?

Exchanging kisses underneath the mistletoe may leave holiday revelers with more than just friendship and goodwill tidings. Passionate partygoers may swap up to 500 different species of germs, including those that cause gum disease, warns the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education.

"With just one kiss, this infection can be passed between couples and even to children," says Gordon Isbell, III, DMD, MAGD, spokesperson for the Academy.

Gum disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissues, is:

bulletthe major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss
bulletaffects three out of four persons at some point in their life 

easily transmissible though mouth-to-mouth contact.

In recent years, researchers have found a possible connection between gum disease and coronary vascular disease, which can place people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. In individuals with diabetes, gum disease is associated with poor control of insulin levels. Pregnant women also need to be careful; gum disease can place pregnant women at risk for having low-birthweight babies.

"In the spirit of the season, folks with gum disease should refrain from kissing under the mistletoe," says Dr. Isbell.

Are you a candidate for gum disease? Check for the following signs:
bulletred, swollen or tender gums
bulletbleeding while brushing or flossing
bulletgums that pull away from teeth
bulletloose or separating teeth
bulletpersistent bad breath
bulletchange in the way teeth fit together when the patient bites
bulletchange in the fit of partial dentures

AGD December 7, 2001

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New help for oral herpes
Valtrex will be approved for oral herpes use early next year. Valtrex is a more convenient dosage form of anti-viral medication from the maker of Zovirex. A single dose of Valtrex should be taken when the first tingling of the skin is felt, signaling that an outbreak of oral herpes ulcers is about to occur.
Stay in touch with your pharmacist to find out exactly when Valtrex will be approved for this use, and what the recommended dosage will be.

Burning Mouth Syndrome-Rare disorder often afflicts post-menopausal women

 An older women may find:
bulletlips, tongue and roof of her mouth hurt and feel like they're burning
bulletmouth is dry
bulletfood taste funny
bulleteating habits have changed
bulletfeeling irritable and depressed 

A dental examination fails to find any evidence of injury, such as burns from a hot food or drink, or an infection of the mouth.

Burning mouth syndrome can be caused by the following conditions:
bulletsevere vitamin deficiency
bulletundiagnosed diabetes
bulletyeast or candida infection
bulletsymptom of various hormone disorders
bulletresult of medications
bulletdental work that doesn't fit correctly
bulletdenture or a partial that goes over the roof of the mouth and impinges too tightly, in the front of the mouth, behind the front teeth, if there's pressure there, you can get a burning sensation
bulletcomplicated as Sjogren's Syndrome

Because of a lack of physical evidence, the syndrome is often misdiagnosed 

 In 70 percent of cases, an underlying cause is never found, and the best that doctors and dentists can do is provide relief from the pain and frustration of the condition. 


  1. As a woman gets older, or when things in their life change, like stress it may go away.
  2. Sugarless mints and chewing gum can help
  3. Frequent drinks of water, can help relieve the discomfort 
  4. Anti-fungal medications sometimes help, even when there's no evidence of a yeast infection.
  5. Hormone-replacement therapy may provide relief
  6. Antihistamines and anti-depressants may help. 
  7. Clonazepam, a medication that's often used as an anticonvulsant can help
  8. If the condition is severe your dentist can prescribe a mixture of Maalox, lidocaine to numb the mouth and Benadry  It's swished in the mouth to numb it, and it can be swallowed if there are ulcerations in the throat, so chewing and eating is easier
  9. Taking lozenges 
  10. Applying a cream made of capsaicin, the natural chemical in cayenne pepper, it acts on the nerve endings to decrease the perception of pain.

AGD. Pat CurryHealthScoutNews Reporter

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Gum Disease May Promote Other Illnesses
Evidence suggests that oral infections, particularly periodontal disease, may play a role in chronic medical problems.

Commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease is increasingly being blamed for raising the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and preterm and low birth-weight babies.

One study of heart-attack patients found that 85 percent also had periodontal disease. In another, pregnant women with the severest form of periodontal disease had an eightfold risk of giving birth prematurely and a threefold risk if they had a milder infection. Periodontal disease has been shown to increases stroke risk 15 percent to 18 percent in whites, 38 percent in African-Americans.

Despite such numbers, researchers caution that they have yet to prove specifically that oral infections cause disease. Still, most dentists take special precautions when treating patients who have heart problems or other ailments. This includes prescribing preventive antibiotics to kill bacteria.

 Periodontal disease poses special risks because it is so commonplace. Seventy-five percent of adult Americans have some degree of gum disease, according to the American Dental Hygienists' Association. In a report released last year, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher wrote simply, "You cannot be healthy without oral health."

Mouth infections are particularly dangerous because the gums are so vascular, meaning they contain a lot of blood vessels very close to the surface. So they serve as a convenient expressway to the heart and other organs for havoc-causing byproducts of the infection.

There also is the fear that any dental work, even something as benign as cleaning the teeth, can trigger the release of massive amounts of these bacteria and byproducts into the system. In people who already have heart problems, this is thought to increase risk of heart attack.

Periodontal disease is particularly insidious because the low-grade infection can smolder for years before symptoms become apparent.

Unknown at this point is whether clearing up the infection will have a beneficial impact on overall health.

"We do know that diabetics whose periodontal disease is treated have a 10 percent reduction in glycated hemoglobin," a measure of long-term blood sugar levels. This can reduce the incidence of diabetes-related side effects. InteliHealth

OCTOBER                         Up To Top


People who have systemic, localized or oral inflammatory diseases need to disinfect or frequently replace their toothbrushes.
The Effects of Toothpastes on the Residual Microbial Contamination of Toothbrushes - JADA The Journal of the American Dental Association, September 2001:1241-1245 Warren;Goldschmidt;Thompson;Adler-Storthz; Keene

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Dental X-Rays May Reveal Stroke Risk in Women
A trip to the dentist for a woman 55 or older may yield evidence about stroke risk.

Panoramic dental x-rays can reveal calcifications in the carotid arteries, which increase a person's risk of stroke.

In the study by Drs.  Friedlander and Altman, panoramic dental x-rays of 52 postmenopausal women aged 55 to 90 with no prior history of heart attack or stroke were studied. Sixteen (31%) of the women showed evidence of calcification in their carotid arteries.

Women older than 55 who receive panoramic dental x-rays should ask doctors to examine the x-rays for calcification in the carotid arteries that would be consistent with blockage of blood flow to the brain.

I was found that 94% of the women in this study were diagnosed with high blood pressure, 50% were characterized as overweight or obese, 38% were heavy smokers, and nearly 70% of the women had high levels of blood fats including cholesterol.

More than 60% of the deaths in the United States attributed to stroke occur in postmenopausal women.

As a woman's estrogen levels decrease after menopause, her blood levels of cholesterol increase, which makes her more vulnerable for build-up of arterial plaque.

These plaque deposits, which collect in the inner lining of the artery, contain fatty substances such as cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and other substances. Plaques may grow large enough to reduce blood flow through an artery. They can also become fragile and rupture. Plaques that rupture form blood clots that can block blood flow or break off and travel to another part of the body. If a clot blocks a blood vessel that feeds the brain, a stroke can result.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Dental Association 2001;132:1130-1136.

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Dental Dots-This is a fingertip tooth cleaner with build-in toothpaste for times you need to clean your teeth away from home.  Consumer Reports On Health Sept 2001 pg 9, found them to work best when they are moistened with water before scrubbing your teeth.  It is a "reasonable product to use for after-meal, vacation or airplane tooth brushing.  but this fingertip cleaner is NOT a substitute for a toothbrush.  They sell for $5.00 for a package of 18.

Dental Dots by California Dental Association   Using a dental dot

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Heart attack-related protein tied to gum disease

 (Reuters Health) - Patients with severe gum disease are more likely to produce an inflammatory response that may place them at elevated risk of suffering a heart attack, researchers report.

"Patients with severe forms of periodontal disease have elevated levels of C-reactive protein compared to patients without periodontal disease,"  author Dr. Ernesto De Nardin.

One theory is that heart attacks occur when a build-up of fats and cells known as vulnerable plaque breaks loose and clogs one of the arteries leading to the heart. High levels of C-reactive protein may somehow be involved in this process.

The researchers theorize that people living with a chronic infection such as gum disease may produce higher levels of C-reactive protein, which could place them at higher risk of heart attack.

In this study, investigators compared 59 people with moderate periodontal disease, 50 people with advanced periodontal disease and 65 people with little to no periodontal disease. 

They found that 38% of those with severe periodontal disease had levels of C-reactive protein that had been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, compared with only 17% of those without periodontal disease.

The investigators also found that those who had one, two or several strains of microbes that cause periodontal disease were more likely to have elevated levels of C-reactive protein than those who had no strains of the microbes.

"Nobody says (if) you don't brush your teeth, you're going to die of heart disease," De Nardin said. "This is one of many risk factors that can contribute to an already-existing underlying cause. But it makes it even more significant to see a dentist regularly."
Health Center Sept 28, 01

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Cavities Might Someday Heal Themselves
A "remineralizing filling material" called amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) may be the best news ever for dental patients. Researchers say the compound not only helps prevent cavities but also helps small, existing cavities heal on their own

"ACP is already being used in some applications in dental offices," according to Dr. Joe Antonucci, a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD.


"At least 50% of all fillings are replaced because of recurrent tooth decay," he said. Ideally, dentists would apply ACP to the surface of the tooth as they filled existing cavities, so that "new cavities may be minimized or prevented." The compound could have other applications as well--as an "adhesive cement" to help braces adhere to the tooth surface, as a root canal sealant, or as a means of reducing painful tooth sensitivity
Smart Practice 

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CDC Releases Fluoride Usage Guidelines:

Fluoride was named by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as one of the 10 greatest public health milestones of the 20th century for its contribution to oral health, lack of fluoridated water leaves 100 million Americans at higher risk for dental disease. A comprehensive report was just released: Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States.

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Foods to Smile About

Good oral health isn't only about brushing your teeth and avoiding sweets. It's also about eating a diverse diet.

Research suggests that some foods may inhibit the growth of plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to cavities and oral disease. Onions, shiitake mushrooms, cheese, and foods rich in polyphenols, such as herbs, nuts, and teas, are all thought to possess this plaque-fighting feature.

RealAge Benefit: Flossing and brushing your teeth daily can make your RealAge as much as 6.4 years younger

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September 2001 is National Cholesterol  Education Month   ( ) from the National Cholesterol      Education Program (NCEP) . This year's Web-based kit contains a wealth of educational materials.  

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Smart' fillings that release cavity-fighting components such as calcium and phosphate.

"Smart fillings look very much like current composites and match the appearance of [tooth] enamel quite well," says Joseph Antonucci, PhD, a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md. "They would act to prevent formation of secondary or recurrent cavities that can occur on or around conventional fillings."

The ingredient used in these fillings is amorphous calcium phosphate, or ACP.  It helps promote remineralization. This powdered substance is also found in some toothpastes and Trident Advantage™ and Trident for Kids™ chewing gums. 

Smart Fillings


to counteract the demineralization that occurs when kids have braces attached to teeth. 


used as a desensitizer for teeth that are sensitive to cold and heat.


in reduction in future cavities to prevent new cavities from forming 


to repair early damage that may have already occurred.


for patients that are especially susceptible to cavities, such as people who have undergone radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

They are reported to be safe.  The composition of this material is very similar to existing composites and the added active ingredients are minerals normally found in teeth, bones, and saliva.

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ROCKVILLE, MD  — Biologists at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, MD in collaboration with The Forsyth Institute in Boston, MA, have completed the sequence from Porphyromonas gingivalis, the first oral disease-causing microbe to be completely sequenced. Porphyromonas gingivalis is a bacterium, which may cause adult periodontitis, or gum disease. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that millions of Americans suffer from periodontitis, which is a chronic infectious disease of the gums and underlying bony tissues. Without treatment, periodontitis or gum disease can destroy tissue and result in tooth loss.

The sequencing project, under the direction of Dr. Robert Fleischmann at TIGR along with Drs. Margaret Duncan and Floyd Dewhirst at The Forsyth Institute, was funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"The results of this sequencing project will provide new insights into how Porphyromonas gingivalis colonizes and becomes the dominant oral flora in individuals with severe gum disease. The genome information will provide new targets for prevention and cure of periodontal disease in adults," said Dr. Fleischmann.

 This new sequencing data is posted on the Internet on TIGR’s Comprehensive Microbial Resource (CMR) website at TIGR’s CMR database makes it freely available to researchers worldwide.

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Invisible Braces?

Invisalign is the "invisible braces" system created by Align Technology.  It promises perfect smiles without the embarrassment of traditional metal braces.  

The system cost considerably more than traditional orthodontic treatment and works on a slim minority of cases.  This service was only available through orthodontist however a new system is now available through your general dentist.

Inline Orthodontics is a new group that is training general dentist to use the invisible braces system.  So look for your family dentist to be able to provide you with invisible braces.
AGD Impact, August/September 2001 pg 2

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Oral cancer outreach begins in September by A.D.A.

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Long in the Face?
Facial Structure Predicts Overall Health Problems

 Having trouble with your sinuses?  It may come as a surprise to people that a dentist -- rather than a physician -- may be their best bet for treating symptoms associated with a number of common ailments.  In fact, manipulating the upper and lower jaw structures can alleviate a host of health problems, such as respiratory disorders, migraine headaches, ear aches, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), sinusitis, allergies, hearing loss and sleep disorders, among others.   

Ideal facial proportions are universal regardless of race, sex and age, and
are based on a numerical value of 1 to 1.618.  For example, if the width of
the face from cheek to cheek is 10 inches, then the length of the face from
the top of the head to the bottom of the chin should be 16.18 inches to be in
ideal proportion.

The further away a person's face is from the ideal proportions and profile,
the more likely that person will have certain medical problems, especially
sinus problems and migraines."
Studies indicate that people who have long faces tend to have problems
breathing through their nose
.  When the face is long and narrow, the sinus
cavities tend to be narrow, inhibiting airflow.  Consequently, these people
tend to breathe through their mouth -- a contributing factor for some people
who snore or who suffer from sleep apnea.  Mouth breathers also tend to have
narrow mouths and crooked teeth.  Orthodontic appliances widen the face and
mouth, which in turn widen the sinus cavities, allowing people to breath more
easily through their nose.

Abnormal jaw development causes people with shorter faces to experience
excessive pressure on the jaw joint.  Because their jaws are positioned in a
manner that can restrict blood flow to the brain, many people with short
faces suffer from headaches.  

Anyone interested in improving their facial appearance and health should
consider first visiting a dentist who is knowledgeable in orthodontics and
TMD therapy,

AGD and GenR8tnext

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View DenTrek's new Animated Dental Learning Modules on white fillings, implants, crowns and how to floss. They are informative, quick and to the point!

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Dentists are leading source of information on oral health
Findings from ADA's Public Opinion Survey    By James Berry

Almost 44 percent of adults surveyed last year counted their dentist as the primary source of information on dental health issues and problems.

Lagging well behind the dentist as sources of oral health knowledge were consumer magazines (10 percent), the Internet (6.2 percent), television (4.4 percent) and family members (4.2 percent).

Of those who use the Internet for health information, the highest percentage (40.4 percent) are seeking facts on a specific disease; 27.7 percent are looking for general health information; 14.4 percent seek general dental information; and 8 percent are researching a specific dental procedure.

Just 12.8 percent of respondents said their most recent dental visit was an emergency; 87.2 percent said their most recent visit was a routine appointment.

About nine out of 10 respondents (90.1 percent) said they thought the time it took to arrange a dental appointment was “reasonable”; about two-thirds (66.2 percent) were able to get an appointment within a month, 29.4 percent within a week.

The average amount paid for dental services last year was $578 for all respondents, $668 for respondents with insurance and $439 for the uninsured
Resource ADA Today's News.                       Up To Top

Vaccine For Tooth Decay

Researchers at The Forsyth Institute have discovered a potentially important antigen for a vaccine against tooth decay. 

The antigen contained four protein pieces -- two copies each of two protein strips from an enzyme called glucosyltransferase (GTF), an important part of the decay process. A group of bacteria called mutans streptococci produce this enzyme, which is involved in breaking down sugar in the mouth and helping the bacteria stick to tooth surfaces.

This combination antigen produced the highest antibody levels, high enough to provide protection against decay. This research is a step toward a possible vaccine for tooth decay, which dentists refer to as dental caries.

"We have some very good clues as to when this vaccine should be administered to people," said Taubman. "Children are initially colonized with mutans streptococci between 19 and 36 months of age. Teeth come in at 6 months. We could interfere by immunizing at an early age, somewhere between one and one-and-a-half years of age."

Research has established that children usually receive mutans streptococci from their mothers, but vaccinating mothers would be less effective, said Taubman.

"In adults who are already colonized, you can't really eliminate (the bacteria). The levels will drop, but they eventually come back," he said.

The researchers have approval for human clinical trials of a vaccine, and are looking for a partner or support to produce it. They are focusing on mucosal vaccines, which can be painted on or squirted into the nose, because they are easy to administer, cause fewer side effects, and are targeted to areas near the mouth.

By Nancy Volkers InteliHealth News Service        Up To Top

If Mom Chews Gum, Children Have Healthier Mouths

Researchers in Finland reported six-year results of a study that tested whether mothers who chew gum sweetened with xylitol are less likely to transmit cavity-causing bacteria to their children.

The study originally enrolled 195 pregnant women whose mouths had high levels of Streptococcus mutans, known to be a major cause of tooth decay. The women were divided into three groups:

bulletThe xylitol group began chewing xylitol-sweetened gum three months after giving birth and continued for 21 months, until their children were 2 years old. Xylitol is a natural sweetener.
bulletThe fluoride group received fluoride varnish treatments at 6, 12 and 18 months after giving birth.
bulletThe chlorhexidine group received a chlorhexidine varnish (an antiseptic) at 6, 12 and 18 months after giving birth.

Six years after the women gave birth -- several years after the treatments stopped -- their children were tested for the presence of the cavity-causing bacteria. Children whose mothers chewed xylitol gum had significantly lower levels of these bacteria in their mouths than did children in the other two groups. S. mutans generally is passed from mothers to children when they are between 6 and 31 months old. Higher levels of bacteria in a child's mouth increase the risk of tooth decay.

The results were published in the May-June issue of Caries Research.

Research published last year from the same study found that at 5 years of age, the children whose mothers had chewed xylitol gum had 70 percent less dental decay, compared with children whose mothers received the varnish treatments.

Xylitol has received a lot of attention in recent years as studies have shown that chewing xylitol-sweetened gum can slow the buildup of plaque on the teeth and inhibit the formation of cavities. Other sweeteners don't have the same effect.

By Nancy Volkers InteliHealth News Service  Up To Top


A.D.A. New Ad Campaign against oral cancer:

If you see to see your dentist!

To learn more about oral cancer visit: Oral Cancer Index

HRT Does Not Increase a Woman's Risk of TMD
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center refute the association between female hormones and the development of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). TMDs afflict an estimated 12 million Americans, and are two to five times more common in women than men. "Absolutely no link" was found between taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the development of TMD symptoms.
Source: Smart Practice                   
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Adults should monitor kids' tooth-brushing

 Many young children who consider brushing their teeth a chore may try to avoid it at all costs. But few succeed, according to the results of a recent survey.

More than half of 1,000 adults surveyed said they monitor the brushing habits of the kids in the house

However, the 45% of respondents who said they do not keep watch while kids brush used other techniques to encourage dental hygiene--including bribery and threats of taking away their children's TV privileges. Some even said that they just ignored their children and hoped that they would take up the habit on their own.

People who don't supervise should consider supervising. Watching how kids brush is important, because the typical child's "brushing patterns don't encourage complete plaque removal."
 (Reuters Health)                                                Up To Top

Black tea helps prevent cavities. Dental plaque contains more than 300 species of bacteria that adhere to tooth surfaces and produce cavity-causing acid. Plaque is also a leading cause of gum disease. several doses of black tea every day not only reduced plaque build-up but also helped control bacteria. A specific element of black tea, polyphenols, killed or suppressed cavity-causing bacteria from either growing or producing acid. The tea also affected the bacterial enzymes and prevented the formation of the sticky material that binds plaque to teeth. Of course, to help prevent cavities the tea must truly be "black," without sugar, milk, honey or other additives. Researchers also stressed drinking black tea should not replace traditional oral hygiene. And while black tea may fight cavities, it does not combat tooth stains. It is going to stain [people's] teeth, but at least we know it's good for oral health. Source: Healthcentral         Up To Top 

Tea Fights Cavities, Reduces Plaque (American Society for Microbiology) - Drinking tea may help fight cavities.  A group of researchers from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry believe that black tea and its components benefit oral health by interfering with the harmful plaque bacteria in the mouth that cause gum disease and cavities. Compounds in black tea were capable of killing or suppressing growth and acid production of cavity-causing bacteria in dental plaque. Black tea also affects the bacterial enzyme glucosyltranferase which is responsible for converting sugars into the sticky matrix material that plaque uses to adhere to teeth. In addition, certain plaque bacteria, upon exposure to black tea, lost their ability to form the clumpy aggregates with other bacteria in plaque, thereby reducing the total mass of the dental plaque.  Drinking tea may have added oral health benefits by controlling through 'prevention' the most prevalent diseases of mankind, mainly caries and periodontal disease. Resource: Intelihealth

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Mouthwash May Help Against Cancer

A gene-therapy mouthwash shows promise of warding off oral cancer by destroying ominous growths before they turn malignant.

The idea is to attack these pre-malignant patches by unleashing viruses that have been programmed to kill cells that contain cancer-causing genes.

Over the past two decades, scientists have learned that all cancer arises from genetic defects, often a half-dozen or more, that accumulate over a lifetime, causing cells to grow rampantly and spread through the body.

With this insight came the belief that it might be possible to target these bad genes to stop cancer. 

White or red patches in the mouth, so-called dysplastic lesions, frequently are a forerunner of malignancy, and they are common in smokers and heavy drinkers.

Cohen and colleagues at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of California at San Francisco tested a gene-therapy mouthwash developed by Onyx Pharmaceuticals, which financed the study.

The treatment consists of adenovirus, a kind of cold virus, that lacks a working copy of one gene that ordinarily allows the virus to infect cells with good p53 genes. Without this gene, it should infect only cells with damaged p53 genes. In theory, at least, the crippled virus will enter these precancerous cells and kill them.

Doctors are giving patients the flavorless mouthwash once a week for 12 weeks. Those who respond get another 12 weeks of treatment.

So far, the patches have disappeared completely in two of the 10 treated, one of them for nearly six months. They have partially cleared up in two others.

``It makes sense, but it is very, very preliminary,'' commented Dr. Barbara Conley of the National Cancer Institute. ``But the good part is that it is not toxic or onerous. It's a mouthwash.''

Source Intelihealth May 2000                                    Up To Top

Academy Recommends New Limits On Fruit Juice For Kids

 Fruit juice should not be given to infants under 6 months, and older children's consumption should be limited, too, to avoid diarrhea, cavities, malnourishment and obesity, says the nation's largest group of pediatricians.

Many parents give their youngsters fruit juice but in finicky eaters, too much juice may replace more important nutrients, and in other children it adds calories that can contribute to obesity.

A 6-ounce glass of 100 percent fruit juice equals one serving of fruit. But juice lacks the fiber of whole fruit and offers no nutritional advantage over it, the academy of pediatric said. In addition, juice's high carbohydrate content can cause diarrhea.

Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit for infants under 6 months. After that, it should be given only to children old enough to drink from a cup because putting juice in bottles prolongs exposure of teeth to sugars that can cause cavities, the academy said.

Children ages 1 to 6 should drink no more than 4 to 6 ounces of juice daily. Those ages 7 through 18 should have no more than two 6-ounce servings daily, and all children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits, the academy said.                              Up To Top

Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month: Get tested for HCV
Hepatitis C is now called the SILENT DRAGON because most people infected with HCV are asymptomatic. HCV may be transmitted by using razors, needles, toothbrushes, nail files, a barber's scissors, tattooing equipment, body piercing, or acupuncture needles if contaminated by the blood of an infected person. Infection by the hepatitis C virus can be determined only by a specific blood test that detects antibodies against HCV. This test is not part of a routine physical. Health care workers,  should request a hepatitis C test from their physician.                                 Up To Top

No Mouth Defense Sends Player to Hospital.  
Wearing a mouthguard could have prevented Indiana State's Kelyn Block from being called a "tooth guy".  He had three lower teeth knocked out or chipped by another player's elbow during a basketball game.  He had to have three root canals.  If he had been wearing a mouthguard this could have been prevented.  
Why not wear a mouthguard.  The total rehabilitation cost for a single knocked out tooth are more than 20 times the cost of a quality professional mouthguard  and lifetime dental rehabilitation costs can exceed $15,000 per loss tooth....    


An athlete is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to teeth when not wearing a mouthguard


Almost one third of all dental injuries are due to  sports-related accidents


During a single athletic season athletes have a 10% chance of suffering a facial or dental injury


The most commonly injured tooth is the top front tooth, which receives 80% of all dental trauma


A mouthguard can prevent concussions, cerebral hemorrhages, incidents of unconsciousness, jaw fractures and neck injuries

Robert E Roesch, DDS, MAGD April 2001, Academy of General Dentistry

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Monitor Infant's Fluoride Intake

If you add fluoridated water to your infant's baby formula, you
may be putting your child at risk of developing dental
fluorosis, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.
Although all water and foods contain some natural fluoride, a
baby's developing teeth are sensitive to higher fluoride levels.
Fluorosis, a harmless cosmetic condition manifested by brown
mottled or discolored enamel, may occur if your child is
regularly exposed to fluoride levels higher than 1 ppm (parts
per million).
Though breast milk and most ready-to-feed formulas contain
infant-safe fluoride levels, parents must be careful with
concentrate formulas that require adding water. Community water
or well sources often contain fluoride levels higher than 1 ppm.
When formula concentrations need to be diluted, it is
recommended parents use low fluoride bottled distilled water
(labeled as "purified" or "distilled baby water") or tap water
with a reverse osmosis home water filtration system attached
that removes most of the fluoride.
"If your child's teeth develop brown spots, visit your dentist
to check for fluorosis." says James Tennyson, DDS, member of the
Academy of General Dentistry. "It also could signal tooth decay,
in which case your child may be prescribed fluoride
"If you correct a fluorosis problem in your child's first
primary teeth," says Dr. Tennyson, "your child probably won't
have a problem when the permanent teeth erupt at age five or
Dr. Tennyson also recommends checking your water source's
fluoride levels by collecting a fresh sample in a sterile
container and taking it to your local health or water
department. Or, your dentist may be able to test your sample if
his office has a colorimeter, which can determine the
concentration of fluoride by comparing the sample to a standard.

Pat RDH                                             Up To Top

The Dental Caries Consensus Conference

Results: A Consensus Development Conference on the Diagnosis and Management of Dental Caries Throughout Life, convened by the National Institutes of Health here March 26-28They announced dental caries disease remains a major public health problem, the panel found. 

Nearly 20 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 4 have experienced dental caries, and by the age of 17 almost 80 percent of young people have had at least one cavity. More than two-thirds of adults between the ages of 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to dental caries, and one-fourth of those aged 65 to 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.

Current data support treatment options including: fluorides, dental sealants; combinations of chlorhexidine, fluoride, and sealants; and health education. They acknowledged that water fluoridation and the use of fluoridated toothpastes are highly successful in preventing dental caries. They also determined that there is evidence to support the use of fluoride varnishes in permanent teeth, as well as fluoride gels, chlorhexidine gels, sealants and chewing gum containing xylitol, a sugar substitute. Combined interventions may be more effective in preventing caries in children.

According to the evidence presented, the most consistent predictor of caries risk in children is past caries experience. Low socioeconomic status is also associated with higher caries rates.

The full NIH Consensus Statement on Diagnosis and Management of Dental Caries Throughout Life is available by calling 1-888-NIH-CONSENSUS or through the NIH Consensus Development Program Web site.

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The Last Straw

If a bottle of fruit juice or a can of cola is a regular part of your day, be sure to save your smile by using a straw.

The less time your teeth spend in contact with tooth-eroding substances, the healthier they will be. According to research, using a drinking straw positioned toward the back of the mouth significantly reduces a fluid's contact time with not only your anterior teeth but also your molars.

RealAge Benefit: Flossing and brushing your teeth daily can make your RealAge as much as 6.4 years younger. 
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Heavenly Healing

Does prayer have the power to heal? No one knows for sure, but research suggests that a little spiritual help probably doesn't hurt.

In a recent review of scientific studies examining distant healing practices, over half of the studies indicated that a patient's healing process was helped when prayer, therapeutic touch, or mental or spiritual healing was practiced by the patient, friends, or family.

RealAge Benefit: Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 16 years younger.  
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Real Age Report:

According to recent studies, regularly drinking tap water that has been treated with fluoride can help increase bone mineral density and may protect against breakage. Maintaining your bone density as you age helps to prevent osteoporosis.

RealAge Benefit: Actively patrolling your health can make your RealAge as much as 12 years younger.                 

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Can You Re-Catch Colds From A Toothbrush? 
There is a literature claiming you can re-catch strep throat from re-using your own toothbrush. But a cold virus, I would suspect, is different. First of all, when you get a cold you should be immune forever to that particular virus.

 So the next time you're getting a cold, you're getting a different virus. I also doubt that a virus would survive too long on a toothbrush after it dries. I think you can catch diseases from someone else's toothbrush. But this is not common. It would have to be wet, it would have to be certain kinds of diseases, etc., and certainly no worse than you'd get from kissing someone.

So I don't think the toothbrush as a vector of disease is a big deal. But I've seen doctors recommend that families with strep throat change toothbrushes to avoid re-catching it.
Source: Health Center.                
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Possible Link Between Passive Smoking and Periodontal Disease.

Research has shown that individuals who have never smoked but where exposed to environmental tobacco smoke in their homes or at work has a 1.5 times higher risk of getting periodontal disease than for people not exposed.

Source: Am J Public Health 2001, 91 (2):2        Up To Top


February 2001

This Month is National Dental Health Month!

"Support a Winning Smile"!

Visit A.G.D. toll free number to find a dentist in your area.

Holy Molars!

Calcium  can protect those pearly whites, too.

Getting an adequate supply of calcium each day can reduce your risk of periodontal disease. In one study, people who consumed less than 500 milligrams of calcium per day were 50% more likely to develop periodontal disease than people who consumed at least 800 milligrams of calcium per day.

RealAge Benefit: Flossing and brushing your teeth daily can make your RealAge as much as 6.4 years younger       
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Is there something in saliva that heals wounds?

Yes, say the scientists at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Saliva contains a multi-purpose protein called secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor -- SLPI -- which has "anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties".       Up To Top

Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research News Release, January 16, 2000

One in Seven 26-Year Olds Has Periodontal


According to a report by the American Academy of Periodontology, about one in seven 26-year olds already has well-established periodontal disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Nearly 75 percent of those in the study had receding gums at least one site. Because most studies and information on gum disease focus on middle-aged and older people, this study is important. Source: Smart Practice

Diabetes Rates Rise Another 6 Percent in 1999     Up To Top

Diabetes Rate Rose 6% 

        Diabetes rates rose a striking 6.0 percent among adults in 1999 according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The new findings are reported in the February issue of Diabetes Care. 

This dramatic new evidence signals the unfolding of an epidemic in the United States," said Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, director of CDC.  

Approximately 800,000 new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year.  It is the seventh leading cause of death in this country and a major contributor to serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and amputations{ (and Gum Disease) webmaster's addition}                                            Up To Top   

The Mouth of Mirth

Looking for something to smile about? The tangy bite of oranges, mangoes, and strawberries may help keep your teeth intact.

Studies have revealed that the vitamin C contained in such fruits can help stave off gum disease and tooth loss. Researchers suspect that vitamin C may inhibit an inflammatory response that sets the stage for gum disease.

RealAge Benefit: Getting the right amount of the antioxidant vitamins C and E can make your RealAge 6 years younger.

To learn more about this tip, click here   
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Courtesy of RealAge

January 2001

Can You Eat Your Way to a Healthier Mouth?  Speculative Food claims:

The latest news suggest that foods may help fight tooth decay, periodontal disease or even oral cancer!  

The New York Times reported Dec 26 that wasabi, a pungent green horseradish served with sushi may contain compounds that kill caries-inducing streptococcus mutans by curbing bacterial growth.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem was reported to have found that lycopene in tomato may kill oral cancer cells in culture.  .  

Cranberries may help curb dental plaque build up by preventing bacteria from colonizing on the gums.  Don't rinse with the juice because of its high acid content.

Chocolate is suppose to fight cavities.

When you hear these claims, keep a skeptical eye on dietary trends that make such claims.  All the above need further research to prove them as true or accurate.  

ADA warns not to read too much into such research: "What is effective in test tubes may not affect anything at all in the mouth."  What is required is to show that these items really have a health benefit in humans, not just in laboratories or animals.

A.D.A.NEWS James Berry 1/2001              Up To Top  

New Research finds Link Between Gum Disease and Acute Heart Attacks

     American Heart Association presented research that "presence of gum disease might INCREASE THE RISK OF A SECOND HEART ATTACK in people with a history of heart disease."  Periodontal disease, gum disease, initiate an immune response called an inflammatory response in the body leading to high CRP levels which may possibly put these individuals at risk for future heart attacks..  Dr. Deliargyris said "It seems that the presence of periodontal disease on top of a heart attack has a synergistic effect and a very accentuated CRP release".

Dentistry Today 12/2000             Up To Top

USDA: Most Popular Diets Flawed

WASHINGTON (AP) - Most popular diets help people drop pounds initially, but only traditional moderate-fat, high-carbohydrate regimens seem to keep dieters slim, according to the first major review of popular diets by the federal government. ``This basically tells you that you can lose weight on any of the diets, if you keep your calories down ,the trick is how you maintain that weight loss.''  The American Heart Association and Weight Watchers - have the best scientific evidence to back up their success rates and health claims. They recommend consuming no more than 30 percent of calories as fat, limiting protein to about 20 percent of the diet and consuming more fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates to help satisfy hunger with fewer calories. They are the most nutritionally adequate and showed some of the best improvements in blood levels of the most dangerous cholesterol and blood fats and in blood sugar control, the study found.

Cecilia Wilkinson Enns

USDA/ARS/BA/BHNRC/Food Surveys Research Group

* AGD Impact, April 2001              Up To Top

                   Check out the latest dental news  for 2000 at:

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September 14, 2007

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