Sunday, August 21, 2011

Neurological Effects of Dental Amalgam Tooth Restorations

The research, conducted by researchers from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and the University of Washington, Seattle, studied the possible neurological effects of dental amalgam tooth restorations.

Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury combined with other metals such as silver, copper, tin and zinc to form a safe, stable alloy. For generations, it has been used to fill decayed teeth that might otherwise have been lost.

In the seven-year long study, the researchers studied 507 children aged 8 through 12 years who received either amalgam or resin-based composite fillings.

The research team conducted routine clinical neurological examinations to assess two types of neurological signs: hard (indicating damage to specific neural structures) and soft (subtle signs of central nervous system dysfunction that likely point to immature sensory-motor skills rather than to any structural damage in the brain).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oral Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is most often defined as an oral disease that affects the lining of the mouth with inflammation.
Lichen planus is a pruritic, papular eruption characterised by its violaceous colour and polygonal shape, sometimes with a fine scale. Most patients come down with their first case between the age of 45 and 60, although a slowly increasing number of reports dealing with younger patients have trickled in. While lichen planus is most often associated with the interior of the cheeks, many cases will find the entire mouth is affected, including the gums, the tongue, the lips, and in rare cases, the throat or esophagus. Women are much more susceptible to lichen planus than men, although the reason for this is pure speculation. Lichen planus also occurs on the skin, as a skin disease, and often must be referred to specifically as skin lichen planus to differentiate between the oral type.

Oral lichen planus is an autoimmune condition which can be brought about by many external factors like allergens in dental materials or toothpaste, certain drugs, an allergic reaction to food, food additives, fragrances, dyes or other substances.

Lichen planus is a self contained disease that can last for weeks, months, and in some cases, years. It is not contagious. It is often mistaken for genital diseases, as the genitalia are often the most noticeably affected during the early development stage. Because the symptoms and outbreaks occur rapidly and then disappear, often for weeks, treatment is difficult. While some patients find great relief in cool compresses or tub soaks and cool baths, most patients require medical treatment in order to relieve their symptoms.

Lichen planus is most often recognized as a rash that irritates the wrists, ankles, forearms, and the mucous membranes of the genitals. The neck, lower back, nails, nostrils, and scalp are also commonly attacked as the rash progresses.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay (also known as baby bottle tooth) is a condition that occurs when sweet liquids are allowed to have frequent contact with your baby’s teeth. A common cause of this ailment is putting your baby to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice, soda, or sugar water. This can also be caused by giving your child several sweet drinks throughout the day.

 According to the ADA, “As soon as a baby’s first teeth appear, usually by age six months or so, the child is susceptible to decay.”1 Treatment of baby bottle tooth decay varies greatly, from fluoride application to full coverage of teeth with stainless steel or veneered crowns, depending on the progression of the decay. It is best to contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible to evaluate your child’s risk.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Treating The Causes Of The Oral Dryness

Since dry mouth is caused by many things, it should not be surprising that there are different ways to treat  it. If your physician or dentist can determine the cause of your oral dryness, he/she may be able to provide you with a specific cure. The trouble is, this is easier said than done.

If the dryness is due to drugs, it may be possible for your doctor to advise you to stop taking those drugs, reduce their intake or switch to another “less drying” medication. Sometimes, especially, in life threatening diseases, it may not be possible to change a patient’s drug intake pattern.. If the dryness is due to a specific disease, e.g. diabetes, proper treatment of the disease will decrease the intensity of your oral symptoms. Occasionally, we do not know the causes of the diseases which produce dry mouth. This, for example,  is the case with Sj√∂gren’s Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. In such cases, we try to relieve the symptoms of the disease  rather than treat the disease itself.