Acidic Foods Are a Major Cause of Tooth Decay

 

AGD Focuses on Tooth Erosion from Acidic Foods

At the Academy of General Dentistry’s upcoming annual meeting, speaker Dr. David Bartlett will discuss how to minimize tooth erosion caused by acid. He suggests patients consume acidic food and drink (soda, juice, fruit, yogurt, etc.) quickly and during mealtimes.

The focus is not on the patient’s diet, but simply on exposure to acid. Dr. Bartlett also suggests patients wait at least 20 minutes to brush teeth after eating acidic foods.

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Science Friday: Can Liquorice Root Replace Visiting the Dentist?

Can Liquorice Root Replace Visiting the Dentist?Dentists, do you think liquorice root can help fight gum disease?

Some scientists think so.

The liquorice plant is a legume that is native to Asia and southern Europe. In Italy they like to chew on liquorice root as a mouth freshener.

Maybe they were on to something …

Scientists are reporting identification of two substances in liquorice — used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine — that kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss in children and adults. In a study in ACS’ Journal of Natural Products, they say that these substances could have a role in treating and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

Stefan Gafner and colleagues explain that the dried root of the liquorice plant is a common treatment in Chinese traditional medicine, especially as a way to enhance the activity of other herbal ingredients or as a flavoring.

Despite the popularity of liquorice candy in the U.S., liquorice root has been replaced in domestic candy with anise oil, which has a similar flavor. Traditional medical practitioners use dried liquorice root to treat various ailments, such as respiratory and digestive problems, but few modern scientific studies address whether liquorice really works. (Consumers should check with their health care provider before taking licorice root because it can have undesirable effects and interactions with prescription drugs.)

To test whether the sweet root could combat the bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities, the researchers took a closer look at various substances in licorice.

They found that two of the liquorice compounds, licoricidin and licorisoflavan A, were the most effective antibacterial substances. These substances killed two of the major bacteria responsible for dental cavities and two of the bacteria that promote gum disease. One of the compounds — licoricidin — also killed a third gum disease bacterium. The researchers say that these substances could treat or even prevent oral infections.

Does anyone see liquorice root flavored mouth rinses in our future?

Source: American Chemical Society

Science Friday: An Apple a Day May Create Tooth Decay

science friday and apple a dayDavid Bartlett, Head of Prosthodontics at King’s College London Dental Institute, directed a study looking for links between tooth wear at several sites in the mouth, and diet in more than 1,000 men and women aged 18 to 30.

What they discovered may shock you.

As reported by The Daily Mail the study determined that eating apples can be up to four times more damaging to teeth than carbonated drinks. Beer and wine also increase the risk of dental damage.

Professor Bartlett noted, “It is not only about what we eat, but how we eat it.” The warning: The high acidity levels of apples can damage your teeth.

The study looked for damage to the 2mm surface enamel of teeth, and at the dentine, the main supporting structure of the tooth beneath the enamel, and compared it with diet.

As reported in The Daily Mail article, people who ate apples were 3.7 times more likely to have dentine damage, while carbonated drink consumers had no additional risk. Fruit juice increased damage to the enamel around the top of the teeth near the gums.

For more on this study see: An apple is worse for your teeth than a fizzy drink

 

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