Researchers have discovered a bacteria responsible for periodontal disease facilitates the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Jan Potempa PhD, DSc from the University of Louisville, School of Dentistry Oral Health and Systemic Disease and her research group, have found Porphyromonas gingivalis produces an unique enzyme, peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) which enhances collagen induced arthritis (CIA). The proteins affected by PAD changes to citrulline, which then causes the body to mount an auto-immune response as it considers the citrullinated proteins as “intruders”. This chronic inflammatory response causes cartilage and bone damage, as seen in Rheumatoid Arthritis. “Taken together, our results suggest that bacterial PAD may constitute the mechanistic link between P. gingivalis periodontal infection and rheumatoid arthritis, but this ground-breaking conclusion will need to be verified with further research.” said researcher Dr. Potempa.
Published in PLOS Pathogens, Online Sep 12, 2013.
Dental caries is a multifactorial disease characterized as an infectious process where carbohydrates are fermented by oral bacteria, resulting in acid production and enamel dissolution. Fermentable sugars include glucose, fructose, sucrose, and lactose (occurring naturally in milk). One of the oral bacteria that has the ability to ferment sugars and modified starches to produce acid, is Streptococcus mutans. Non-sugar sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are not metabolized by oral bacteria and therefore do not produce acid leading to decay. Xylitol is also a non-fermentable sweetener produced from fruit and vegetables that has the ability to reduce the numbers and adherence of Streptococcus in the mouth. To reduce the risk of dental caries, the quantity, frequency, and duration of exposure to sugar-sweetened beverages and food needs to be controlled. Other recommendations for reducing the risk of caries:
- Consume sugar-sweetened beverages at meal times only
- Replace sugar with artificial sweeteners, such as Xylitol or transition to unsweetened beverages
- Brush with fluoridated toothpaste after consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or foods
- Chew sugar free gum if unable to brush immediately, or rinse mouth with water.
- Customized anti-bacterial protocol with supplemental fluoride for high caries risk patients
Talk to your dental team about how to assess your caries risk and ways to prevent disease.
Dental problems are never fun. Not being able to eat or speak properly can drastically decrease your overall confidence. If you are experiencing a dental problem, it is never too late to get it fixed. Brushing and flossing twice a day along with regular dental cleanings are essential in preventing dental issues.
Here are some common dental problems and how to fix them.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat dissolve your tooth structure. Over time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, causing tooth decay. Patients suffering from a toothache are likely to have tooth decay. Your dentist will use the latest technology (such as the clinical microscope, transillumination, digital x-rays) to assess the severity of the decay and treat it with the most appropriate restoration.
Over half of American adults suffer from some form of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums surrounding the teeth and is one of the main causes of tooth loss. Gum infections can also compromise overall health and spread to other organs such as your heart, lungs, and brain. Patients with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or prosthetic joints or heart valves, are especially at risk of developing serious life-threatening complications from dental infections. Proper brushing and flossing twice a day can help prevent gum disease, and your dental team is most qualified to treat it.
Having missing teeth makes eating and speaking more difficult. There are multiple treatment options for those who have missing teeth, including dentures, partials or bridges. Dental implants are often the ideal treatment because they are a permanent solution that look and feel very natural.
Teeth whitening may be a great option if you have discolored or stained teeth. It can also be used to help reverse the effects of aging or stains from food and tobacco. Teeth whitening may be an excellent way to restore your smile, and create a more youthful appearance.
Wisdom Teeth About 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year from 5 million people. Just because your wisdom teeth are not a source of pain doesn’t mean that there is nothing wrong. Most of the time, wisdom teeth need to be removed because they don’t have room to grow properly and may cause problems to the adjoining teeth. Having the wisdom teeth extracted may prevent future problems.