Let’s face it - dentistry doesn’t ring with too much mystery. Teeth and gums seem pretty straightforward, and when it comes to the inner workings of our mouths, well, we leave that to our dentists. But there’s a lot more to oral health than what we imagine. Researchers the world over are dedicated to studying the field of dentistry and their findings continue to prove that there’s a far greater connection to dental hygiene and the rest of the body than conventional knowledge has shown. In addition, the future of our dental visits is subject to change as a result of ever-evolving technologies. Here are some of the most attention-grabbing headlines in the field of late.
Good Dental Hygiene May Be Good for Your Heart and Brain
Most people don’t connect having their teeth cleaned with lowering their risk of heart disease and stroke. According to a study by cardiology fellows at Veterans General Hospital in Tapei, however, this may very well be the case. WebMD reports on the study’s preliminary findings, which followed the records of more than 100,000 people for about seven years. Those who had their teeth professionally cleaned between the gums and teeth at least once every two years were 24% less likely to have a heart attack and 13% less likely to suffer a stroke. What’s the connection? One possibility is that cleaning teeth reduces the possibility of infection and inflammation, which is a common problem in heart disease.
The Drill-Free Future of Fillings
That’s right - you may never need to hear the sound of a mechanical drill at the dentist again. Researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK believe they have developed a pain-free, non-invasive technique to fill teeth - with a peptide-based fluid, P 11-4. According to an article in ScienceDaily, the fluid would be painted to the tooth, seeping into micro-pores and forming a gel that would attract calcium and stimulate regeneration. P 11-4 is still in its testing phase, and while the results with small patient groups have shown its promise, don’t expect dentists to use it in their daily practice anytime soon.
Dental X-Rays Can Help Predict Risk for Bone Fractures
According to an article in Medical News Today, dental X-rays have a new role – determining the risk of future bone fractures in other parts of the body. Researchers at the University of Gothenburn’s Sahlgrenska Academy have found that sparse bone structure in the lower jaw in mid-life is directly linked to the potential risk for fractures elsewhere. The study followed 731 women over a 40-year time period, during which time 222 fractures were identified.
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