A Guide for Those Who Care about Their Smile

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Cranberries Can Assist In Fighting Tooth Decay

Specialists report that refreshing beautiful cranberries give us new leads on finding effective solutions for such dental problem as tooth decay. A group of scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, leaded by food scientist and microbiologist Dr. Hyun “Michel” Koo carried out a research and studied the negative effects of Streptococcus mutans on dental health, as well as tested a number of natural materials and foods in order to reveal their possible powers to fight these bacteria. The findings were quite interesting and it seems like the compounds which can possibly protect us from cavity formation were identified.

cranberriesDr. Koo says: “Natural substances offer tremendous possibilities for stopping tooth decay. Our time spent in the laboratory is aimed at harnessing the potential of some of these compounds, perhaps eventually incorporating them into a toothpaste or mouth rinse to stop dental decay.” The researches managed to discover that there are certain compounds namely A-type proanthocyanidins, which can be found in cranberries and can offer us an effective protection from tooth decay development. Though these compounds can not kill Streptococcus mutans bacteria but can block acid and glucan production, the most harmful activities of the bacteria.

The expert explains that the white sticky substance we all have on our teeth is just the best environment for bacteria growth, but the compounds in cranberry can make this environment quite unfavorable for bacteria. It is estimated that with the help of the compounds proanthocyanidins which can be extracted from cranberries, it can be possible to lower the risks of having dental cavities up to 40-45 per cent. In addition to that, the team of Dr. Koo has discovered similar polyphenols in red wine, which also contains good natural materials to use for extracting the compounds to fight Streptococcus mutans bacteria. However, do not drink too much of red wine in order to protect yourself from dental cavities.

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Dental Care and Medications

We all know so well that a good dental care includes a proper daily oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups and a low sugar diet. However, recently, Australian specialists point on one more important element of everyone’s dental care routine. After one of the researches carried out by dental experts in Sydney, it became clear that a great deal of medications and drugs we use on a regular basis are actually harmful and damaging to our teeth. According to the statistics mentioned at Perth Now, up to 40% of modern people regularly take at least one type of medications which are harmful to their tooth enamel.

In particular, there are a great number of medications which cause saliva reduction or ‘dry mouth’. This condition is quite dangerous for our normal oral hygiene because dry mouth brings to increased number of bacteria population on our teeth and tongue, slows down the processes of de-mineralization and tooth enamel reconstruction, this way creating a favorable environment and speeding up tooth decay. Also, our saliva contains special substances that can neutralize mouth acids which make our teeth decay. Therefore, using too many medications causing ‘dry mouth’ (like antihistamines, etc.) is connected with increased risks of having dental problems.

Some of modern medications are extremely acidic and can cause serious tooth decay. Those include some asthma medicines and others, and if taken for long period of time, they can be very dangerous for our oral health. Also, some medical syrups have a very high content of sugar, which is also harmful for our tooth enamel. If you are taking syrups on a regular basis, it is recommended to brush your teeth every time after your medicine is taken. In addition, such medicines as diuretics, immune-suppressive medicines, oral contraceptives and others are associated with increased risks of having various gum problems, oral ulcers, inflammation, etc.

It is also very important to remember that young children and teenagers are more vulnerable to the above mentioned negative effects of medications and drugs on their teeth, than grown-ups. That is why parents must control the use of antibiotics and other dangerous medicines. A special attention should be paid on the medications which contain fluoride, because it can be very harmful for the developing permanent teeth of children if taken in excessive amounts. Always consult your doctor or a health care specialist before giving your child one or another medication.

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