December 1, 2017

Top Dental News 2017

There are many great stories we could include in a list titled “top dental news 2017.” Researchers have made many inspiring discoveries this year. Many people have provided deeper insights into the fields of oral health and dentistry over the past 12 months.

Here, in case you missed them, are our picks for the top dental news stories of 2017.

Top Dental News 2017: For healthier teeth, provide better food choices near schools

Top Dental News 2017: What effect does oral health promotion have on kids’ cavity rates?

Top Dental News 2017: What effect does oral health promotion have on kids’ cavity rates?

For a study on oral health promotion, researchers in Canada looked at schools in Greater Montréal. They wanted to see what effects oral health promotion had on kids’ cavity rates.

Many studies have looked at weight issues in and around schools. Only a few have looked at cavities. The researchers found that kids’ food, social and economic environments had a greater impact on oral health than programs that promote healthy choices.

From the report: “Policies promoting healthy eating environments could have a greater impact on children’s oral health than school programs run in isolation…”

Top Dental News 2017: New, fast-dissolving glass puts minerals back into damaged teeth

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) announced in September that they have created a new way to heal teeth. They’re using a type of glass that dissolves quickly.

To help repair teeth, the team is putting “bioactive” glass into toothpaste and dental fillings. As the glass dissolves, it releases Chloride. This forms a chemical that acts like tooth and bone. Used in dental fillings or toothpaste, it helps replace the minerals lost to decay.

“This toothpaste is unique because it can put back the mineral lost from your teeth after consumption of an acidic drink, but without the use of fluoride.” Professor Robert Hill from QMUL’s Institute of Dentistry said. “This isn’t just for people who have bad teeth, everyone can potentially benefit…”

Top Dental News 2017: Slippery inhibitor helps prevent cavities

UAB researchers have created a molecular inhibitor that "shields" teeth

UAB researchers have created a molecular inhibitor that “shields” teeth

In a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers created a small molecular inhibitor that “shields” teeth. The inhibitor blocks enzymes so they cannot damage teeth.

In fact, it was able to reduce dental caries, or cavities, in rats even when fed a diet that would normally promote tooth decay. The study included researchers from the Department of Microbiology in the UAB School of Medicine.

The researchers explained that the inhibitor “…can be developed into therapeutic drugs that prevent and treat dental caries.”

Top Dental News 2017: A bad bite linked to postural, balance control

Teeth that don’t quite fit together can lead to jaw pain, gaps between teeth or crowding. However, two new studies have shown that this “malocclusion” can also have an effect on posture and balance.

“What is relevant in the study is that malocclusions have also been associated with different motor and physiological alterations,” explains the main author of the studies.

They showed that correcting the malocclusion improved control over posture and balance. Further proof, if needed, that oral health and overall health truly go hand in hand.

Top Dental News 2017: Household environment, not genetics, shapes salivary microbes

A study by the American Society for Microbiology sheds new light on the important role saliva plays in oral health and overall health. The researchers found that the microorganisms in saliva “are largely determined by the human host’s household,” not by human genetics.

Environment plays a larger role than was thought in the creation of the microbiome.

Environment plays a larger role than was thought in the creation of the microbiome.

“It’s generally becoming known that there’s a link between our microbiomes and our health and that’s reason enough to find out what’s in there, how they arrived there, and what they are doing,” explained Adam P. Roberts. Roberts is senior lecturer in antimicrobial chemotherapy and resistance at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

The findings indicate that a person’s early environment plays a larger role than was thought in the creation of the microbiome.

Top Dental News 2017: Molecule in human saliva has potential for wound healing

Sticking with the theme of saliva, another study looked at the odd fact that mouth wounds heal faster than other wounds. Scientists already knew that saliva played a role in this, but how was still a mystery.

Now, researchers at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology have shown that a peptide known as salivary peptide histatin-1 promotes blood vessel formation. This process, called angiogenesis, is vital for wounds to heal efficiently.

“We believe that the study could help the design of better approaches to improve wound healing in tissues other than the mouth,” said Vicente A. Torres, Ph.D., associate professor at the Institute for Research in Dental Sciences within the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chile in Santiago.

Thanks for reading! Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, healthy new year!

Read next: Dental Filling Failure Linked to Personal Factors, Not Materials

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