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Tips to Soothe Your Teething Baby

TEETHING CAN BE an uncomfortable process for both your little one and those who care for them.

We know our patients want to help soothe their babies as best they can through this time, so today we’re going to share our thoughts on teething and how you can help them through this process.

Each Child’s Teething Timeline Is Different

Although this is different for every child, you can expect your baby to begin teething between six and 12 months old—some teeth may appear as early as 3 months or even as late as 14 months, however. Whenever they begin to sprout their first teeth, it’s important to remember good oral care begins long before their pearly whites make an appearance.

Caring for your infant’s smile before their first teeth erupt is important because bacteria in the mouth can leave behind plaque that damage their incoming teeth. You can prevent plaque from adhering to your child’s gums by gently wiping them with a soft, moist washcloth or piece of gauze. We recommend doing this at least twice a day, especially after feeding your baby and before putting them to bed.

Keep An Eye Out For Teething Symptoms

Teething brings about a variety of signs and symptoms, but here are some of the most common that infants experience:

  • Fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Bumps in the gums

If your child begins to develop a persistent fever, diarrhea, or a rash in addition to these symptoms, however, contact their pediatrician.

Watch the video below to learn a bit more about teething symptoms and how long they should last.

Soothe Your Child’s Discomfort With These Tips

Cutting new teeth may not be the most pleasant experience for your little one, but there are plenty of ways to help soothe their discomfort.

Massaging their gums, for instance, counters the pressure from their incoming teeth and in turn eases teething pain. You can try using a clean finger, a small cold spoon, or a moist gauze pad or washcloth to see which your child most prefers.

Teething rings and toys are another useful tool in the teething process. Chewing on these provides the same pain relief as massaging by countering that pressure in the gums. Refrigerating (not freezing!) these toys before they chew will provide an additional cooling sensation to help soothe your child’s soreness.

Be sure to avoid numbing agents. They may seem like a good idea to ease the discomfort of incoming teeth, but the FDA has issued a warning about the potential harmful effects of numbing agents containing benzocaine and lidocaine. Teething is a normal part of development that can be treated without the aid of prescription or over-the-counter medications. If you have any questions about how this applies to your child’s unique situation, give us a call or contact your pediatrician.

We’re Here Every Step Of The Way

The first few months of a child’s life is full of excitement and lots of changes! We understand that along with those changes come a lot of questions about how to best care for your growing baby. If you would like more information about how to care for your child while they’re teething, or if you have any other questions about their developing oral health, give us a call or make an appointment today!

- Thank you for trusting us with your growing family! We love our patients.


Diabetes? Heart disease? Osteoporosis? Your dentist may know before you do.

Bill Radley is 62 and, like many “baby boomers,” he is thinking about retiring in the next few years. He’s worked hard most of his adult life, and he’s looking forward to getting some rest and relaxation while traveling with his wife Susan.

Your dentist may be the first to know

Bill recently scheduled a dentist visit because he had noticed he had bad breath that wouldn’t go away no matter how many times each day he brushed his teeth or used mouthwash. During the oral exam, his dentist also noticed that Bill’s gums seemed red and inflamed and were bleeding. Bill’s dentist advised him to go to his physician for a medical check-up, since his persistent bad breath and bleeding gums could be an early indicator of diabetes.

Bill scheduled a check-up with his physician and took a series of diagnostic blood tests. When the results came back, Bill found out he had diabetes. “I couldn’t believe it!” he said. “I never had a sweet tooth and I’m fairly active, playing golf regularly. Sure, I’m a little overweight, but I just figured it was typical for my age.”

Oral health reflects overall health

Research shows that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and excessive gum problems. Some of these diseases include:

  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • Oral cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease

Baby boomers are especially vulnerable to developing diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease, the risks of which increase with age. Researchers believe that symptoms of these conditions can manifest in the mouth, making dentists key in diagnosing the diseases. For example:

  • Bad breath and bleeding gums could be indicators of diabetes.
  • Dental x-rays can show the first stages of bone loss.
  • A sore and painful jaw could foreshadow an oncoming heart attack.

Seeing the dentist regularly is a good idea

Bill hadn’t visited the dentist in over two years and it had been even longer since he’d been to his physician for a regular check-up. “I wasn’t having any problems other than the usual aches and pains, so I didn’t see any need to go to the dentist or to my doctor. Boy, am I glad that I went to the dentist! If I hadn’t gone to see the dentist about my bad breath, I wouldn’t have discovered my diabetes so soon. Now I can get the treatment I need and prevent it from getting any worse.”

In many cases, a dentist may be the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem in its early stages since many people have regular oral examinations and see their dentist more often than their physician.

What can you do?

Seeing a dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth in top shape and allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues. A dental exam can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, improper jaw alignment and signs of developing oral and overall health problems. When you visit your dentist, be sure to provide a complete medical history and inform him or her of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health. In addition, you can play a major role in improving your oral and overall health by following these practices:

  • Brushing your teeth for two to three minutes, twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline.
  • Flossing daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Eating a healthy diet to provide essential nutrients (vitamins A and C, in particular).
  • Avoiding cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
  • Limiting your alcohol intake.
  • Carefully following your physician’s and dentist’s instructions about health care, including using prescription medications, such as antibiotics, as directed.
  • Seeing your dentist immediately when you have any unusual oral symptoms like bad breath, mouth sores, red or swollen gums or sore jaws.

Source: National survey reveals baby boomers miss links between oral and overall health. Academy of General Dentistry


American Dental Association Statement on Polyethylene Microbeads in Toothpaste

September 16, 2014
Contact Information:
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO — The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs, on an ongoing basis, monitors and evaluates the safety of all ADA Seal-Accepted products. If the council’s evaluation determines sufficient scientific evidence exists that an ADA Seal-Accepted product poses a health risk, the council has the authority to withdraw the Seal from that product. At this time, clinically relevant dental health studies do not indicate that the Seal should be removed from toothpastes that contain polyethylene microbeads.

Polyethylene microbeads are an FDA-approved food additive. These microbeads are commonly used as scrub beads, such as in exfoliating products, but are also sometimes used in chewing gum and toothpaste, as part of the product design. Small quantities of the colored polyethylene specks are included in some of Crest’s toothpastes, including Crest Pro Health, which has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

The Council will continue to monitor and evaluate new scientific information on this issue as it becomes available. In the meantime, the ADA recommends that individuals continue to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendations on the use of dental health care products.

Products with the ADA Seal have been independently evaluated for safety and effectiveness by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. The ADA “Guidelines for Participation in the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance Program” describe the general criteria for earning the ADA Seal. In addition, many product categories have specific product guidelines that give the types of safety and effectiveness studies required.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit Home - American Dental Association.


Study shows, gum disease bacteria selectively disarms immune system

The human body is comprised of roughly 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.

In a new study, University of Pennsylvania researchers show that bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause this imbalance, known as dysbiosis, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system.

Their findings, reported in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, lay out the mechanism, revealing that the periodontal bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis acts on two molecular pathways to simultaneously block immune cells' killing ability while preserving the cells' ability to cause inflammation. The selective strategy protects "bystander" gum bacteria from immune system clearance, promoting dysbiosis and leading to the bone loss and inflammation that characterizes periodontitis. At the same time, breakdown products produced by inflammation provide essential nutrients that "feed" the dysbiotic microbial community. The result is a vicious cycle in which inflammation and dysbiosis reinforce one another, exacerbating periodontitis.

George Hajishengallis, a professor in the Penn School of Dental Medicine's Department of Microbiology, was the senior author on the paper, collaborating with co-senior author John Lambris, the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Collaborators included Tomoki Maekawa and Toshiharu Abe of Penn Dental Medicine.

Work by Hajishengallis's group and collaborators had previously identified P. gingivalisas a "keystone pathogen." Drawing an analogy from the field of ecology, in which a species such as a grizzly bear is thought of as a keystone species because of the influence it has over a number of other species in the community, the idea suggests that, although P. gingivalis may be relatively few in number in the mouth, their presence exerts an outsized pull on the overall microbial ecosystem. Indeed, the team has shown that, although P. gingivalis is responsible for instigating the process that leads to periodontitis, it can't cause the disease by itself.

"Scientists are beginning to suspect that keystone pathogens might be playing a role in irritable bowel disease, colon cancer and other inflammatory diseases," Hajishengallis said. "They're bugs that can't mediate the disease on their own; they need other, normally non-pathogenic bacteria to cause the inflammation."

In this study, they wanted to more fully understand the molecules involved in the process by which P. gingivalis caused disease.

"We asked the question, how could bacteria evade killing without shutting off inflammation, which they need to obtain their food," Hajishengallis said.

The researchers focused on neutrophils, which shoulder the bulk of responsibility of responding to periodontal insults. Based on the findings of previous studies, they examined the role of two protein receptors: C5aR and Toll-like receptor-2, or TLR2.

Inoculating mice with P. gingivalis, they found that animals that lacked either of these receptors as well as animals that were treated with drugs that blocked these receptors had lower levels of bacteria than untreated, normal mice. Blocking either of these receptors on human neutrophils in culture also significantly enhanced the cells' ability to kill the bacteria. Microscopy revealed that P. gingivalis causes TLR2 and C5aR to physically come together.

"These findings suggest that there is some crosstalk between TLR2 and C5aR," Hajishengallis said. "Without either one, the bacteria weren't as effective at colonizing the gums."

Further experiments in mice and in cultured human neutrophils helped the researchers identify additional elements of how P. gingivalis operates to subvert the immune system. They found that the TLR2-C5aR crosstalk leads to degradation of the protein MyD88, which normally helps clear infection. And in a separate pathway from MyD88, they discovered that P. gingivalis activates the enzyme PI3K through C5aR-TLR2 crosstalk, promoting inflammation and inhibiting neutrophils' ability to phagocytose, or "eat," invading bacteria.

Inhibiting the activity of either PI3K or a molecule that acted upstream of PI3K called Mal restored the neutrophils' ability to clear P. gingivalis from the gums.

"P. gingivalis uses this connection between C5aR and TLR2 to disarm and dissociate the MyD88 pathway, which normally protects the host from infection, from the proinflammatory and immune-evasive pathway mediated by Mal and PI3K," Hajishengallis said.

Not only does the team's discovery open up new targets for periodontitis treatment, it also suggests a bacterial strategy that could be at play in other diseases involving dysbiosis.

Credits to Dentistry Today


How P. gingivalis causes chronic inflammation in blood vessels

Chronic oral infection with the periodontal disease pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, not only causes local inflammation of the gums leading to tooth loss but also is associated with an increased risk ofatherosclerosis. A study published in PLOS Pathogens now reveals how the pathogen evades the immune system to induce inflammation beyond the oral cavity.

Like other gram-negative bacteria, P. gingivalis has an outer layer that consists of sugars and lipids. The mammalian immune system has evolved to recognize parts of this bacterial coating, which then triggers a multi-pronged immune reaction. As part of the "arms race" between pathogens and their hosts, several types of gram-negative bacteria, including P. gingivalis, employ strategies by which they alter their outer coats to avoid the host immune defense.

Caroline Attardo Genco, from Boston University School of Medicine, USA, in collaboration with Richard Darveau, at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, USA, and colleagues focused on the role of a specific lipid expressed on the outer surface of P. gingivalis, called lipid A, which is known to interact with a key regulator of the host's immune system called TLR4. P. gingivalis can produce a number of different lipid A versions, and the researchers wanted to clarify how these modify the immune response and contribute to the ability of the pathogen to survive and cause inflammation - both locally, resulting in oral bone loss, and systemically, in distant blood vessels.

They constructed genetically modified strains of P. gingivalis with two distinct lipid A versions. The resulting bacteria produced either lipid A that activated TLR4 (called "agonist") or lipid A that interacted with TLR4 but blocked activation ("antagonist"). Utilizing these strains, they demonstrate that P. gingivalis production of antagonist lipid A renders the pathogen resistant to host bacterial killing responses. This facilitates bacterial survival in macrophages, specific immune cells that normally not only gobble up the bacteria but also "digest" and kill them.

When the researchers infected atherosclerosis-prone mice with the P. gingivalis TLR4 antagonist strain, they found that this exacerbates inflammation in the blood vessels and promotes atherosclerosis. In contrast, the ability of P. gingivalis to induce local inflammatory bone loss was independent of lipid A variations, which demonstrates that there are distinct mechanisms for induction of local versus systemic inflammation.

The researchers conclude, "P. gingivalis modifies its lipid A structure in order to evade host defenses and establish chronic infection leading to persistent systemic low-grade inflammation". They go on to state that "uniquely among gram-negative pathogens, P. gingivalis evasion of TLR4-mediated host immunity results in progression of inflammation at a site that is distant from local infection by gaining access to the vasculature."


Study ties poor oral hygiene to cancer-causing virus

Finding on HPV called "Modest Association"

People with swollen gums, missing teeth and other signs of poor dental health are more likely to be infected orally with the human papilloma virus, researchers reported Wednesday.

HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, causes cancer of the cervix, mouth and throat. The new study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, is the first to document a link between the infection and poor oral health, but other experts noted that the research found only an association and relied mostly on self-reported data about oral health. It is too early to say with confidence that brushing and flossing regularly could prevent oral HPV infection, they said.

The finding is a "modest association," said Aimee R. Kreimer, an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute who was not involved in the study. "We dont know if poor oral health causes HPV infection and would go on to cancer," she said.

The finding suggests another potential downside to deficient hygiene "because of possible association between poor to fair oral health and the presence of the human papilloma virus, which in itself is identified with several diseases," said Dr.Sol Silverman, a professor of oral medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a spokesman for the American Dental Association.

Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston reviewed data on both high-risk and low-risk oral HPV infection and oral health in 3,439 adults, ages 30 to 69, participating in the nationally representative 2009-10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, known as NHANES. The study found that being male, smong cigarettes, and having multiple oral sex partners increased the likelihood of oral HPV infection, findings similar to those in an earlier analysis of NHANES data.

But after controlling for smoking and the number of oral sex partners, the new study found that self-rated poor oral health was an independent risk for oral HPV infection. The odds of having an oral HPV infection were 55 percent higher among those reporting poor to fair oral health.

"It's the first paper linking self-reported measures of poor oral hygiene and an oral HPV infection," Dr.Maura L. Gillison, a professor of medicine at Ohio State University, who was not involved in the study. "It's a strong paper because it's a first, but does it have public health significance? Should people change behavior? I would say no."

Article copied from the Lexington Herald-Leader


July Article

Similar Damage Caused to Teeth by Soda and Illegal Drugs

Addicted to soda? You may be shocked to learn that drinking large quantities of your favorite carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use. The consumption of illegal drugs and abusive intake of soda can cause similar damage to your mouth through the process of tooth erosion, according to a case study published in recent issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.

Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel, which is the glossy, protective outside layer of the tooth. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored.

The General Dentistry case study compared the damage in three individuals mouths- an admitted user of methamphetamine, a previous longtime user of cocaine, and an excessive diet soda drinker. Each participant admitted to having poor oral hygiene and not visiting a dentist on a regular basis. Researchers found the same type and severity of damage from tooth erosion in each participants mouth.

"Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their "drug" of choice - meth, crack, or soda" says Mohamed A. Bassiouny DMD, MSc, PhD, lead author of the study.

"The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion," says Dr.Bassiouny.

Similar to citric acid, the ingredients used in preparing methamphetamine can include extremely corrosive materials, such as battery acid, lantern fuel, and drain cleaner. Crack cocaine is highly acidic in nature, as well.

The individual who abused soda consumed 2 liters of diet soda daily for three to give years. Says Dr.Bassiouny, "The striking similarities found in this study should be a wake-up call to consumers who think that soda-even diet soda-is not harmful to their oral health."

Academy of General Dentistry spokesperson Eugene Antenucci DDS, FAGD, recommends that his patients minimize their intake of soda and drink more water. Additionally, he advises them to either chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of soda. "Both tactics increase saliva flow, which naturally helps to return the acidity levels in the mouth to normal." he says.

Article taken from medicalnewstoday.com


March Article

Its probably no surprise that a bright, white smile can make you appear younger and more attractive. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a whopping 96 percent of respondents surveyed believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing.

But good dental health goes beyond the way you look. The mouth is the gateway to the body, which means the state of your teeth and gums affects your overall health. By following these steps to a better smile, you'll be taking important strides for the rest of you body, too.

  1. Brush regularly. Brushing is the cornerstone of dental hygiene. It removes food particles that bacteria feed on, cleans teeth, and freshens breath. A toothpaste with fluoride helps strengthen teeth, but you must brush for at least two minutes to allow it to do its work, says Jonathan Abenaim, DDS, a dentist in private practice in Hawthorne, N.J. Many electric toothbrushes have a built in two minute timer, which can make brushing for the full amount of time easier, he says.
  2. Floss daily. Flossing removes the bacteria from in between your teeth that your toothbrush does not reach, which helps prevent gum disease. Dr. Abenaim recommends flossing twice a day, but if you only do it once daily, be sure to floss before bedtime. When you sleep, you produce less saliva, which leaves teeth and gums particularly vulnerable to bacteria.
  3. Visit your dentist. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for thorough dental cleanings. Your dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease, which is more easily treated when caught in the beginning stages. If you are prone to gum disease and cavities, consider visiting your dentist every four months.

    Similarly, if you have other health conditions that put you at risk for dental problems (such as diabetes, or a depressed immune system from HIV, cancer, or chemotherapy), ask your dentist how often you should have an exam. A special dental-hygiene regimen should be considered for pregnant women, people with diabetes, and anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment or using medications that can affect the gums (such as antiepileptics) or dry out the mouth (including some psychiatric medications).

    It's wise to examine your own mouth regularly for signs of trouble, such as a non-healing sore on the lip or inside of your cheek, swollen gums, or sensitive or bleeding gums. If you notice any of these conditions, make an extra dental appointment to have them checked out.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Include plenty of dairy and other calcium-rich foods, like sardines and kale, in your diet. Calcium helps maintain strong bones and teeth, and the vitamin C in citrus fruits boosts gum health.

    Equally important to what you do eat is what you don't. Sugary and sticky foods that stick to the crevices of your teeth are particularly bad, as bacteria feed off the sugars and release acids that cause cavities. If you do eat candy, other sweets, or drink sugary beverages, try to brush immediately afterwards or, if that's not possible, rinse your mouth with water, suggests Herman Waldman, DDS.
  5. Don't smoke or use smokeless tobacco. People who smoke are four times more likely than non-smokers to have gum disease, according to a study by the Journal of Periodontology. Using smokeless tobacco increases a person's risk for oral cancers, including lip, tongue, cheeks, and gums. On a smaller scale, tobacco products contribute to bad breath, or halitosis.
  6. Whiten teeth. While the benefits are solely cosmetic, with today's products, whitening is a very safe procedure that will not harm your teeth as long as the products are used as directed and you are under the care of a dentist, says Dr. Waldman. Over-the-counter whitening products are effective for minor staining; professional-strength whitening products are better for more- severe yellowing. Speak to your dentist before undergoing any whitening procedure to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.
  7. Consider cosmetic procedures. The first thing a person sees when they meet you is your smile, says Abenaim, and having crooked, stained, or missing teeth can affect your confidence. There have been great advances in cosmetic dentistry over the past decade, and it is possible to fix most cosmetic problems. Veneers for improving the appearance of crooked, stained, or oddly shaped teeth and orthodontics for straightening teeth are only two of the many cosmetic procedures offered.

    However, most cosmetic dentistry is not covered by insurance, and it can be costly. It's important to schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist prior to undergoing any type of procedure.

Article copied from Every Day Health


Blackberries May Lead to Healthy Gums

Blackberries could be beneficial for one's oral health.

A new study shows that this type of fruit could lead to healthy gums. The study appeared in the Journal of Periodontal Research. The study states that the antibacterial properties of blackberries lower the risk of gum disease and promote gum health.

There are also prior studies that have indicated the positive aspects of blackberries and claim they prevent cancerous cells from spreading.

Many studies have shown that eating a diet filled with fruits and vegetables is beneficial to one's oral health. This type of diet can also lower the risk of developing oral cancer, diabetes and heart disease, among other health ailments.

Since good oral health leads to good overall health, it can be extremely beneficial for a person to implement blackberries into his or her diet.

Resources: Dentistry Today

 

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