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Friday Dental Download: March 7, 2014

This week, students receive free dental care and preventive tips from the DentaQuest Oral Health Center, we learn about how the mouth is the window to overall health, find out what kind of bacteria gave our ancestors gum disease and learn how much the Tooth Fairy gives to Heidi Klum’s kids. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

The DentaQuest Oral Health Centerin Massachusetts hosted an event to provide local students free dental exams as part of the “Give Kids a Smile” program sponsored by the American Dental Association. Students at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School visited the DentaQuest team to receive dental exams, cleanings, x-rays and fluoride treatments from seven members of the DentaQuest Oral Health Center team, who also taught the students valuable preventive techniques to help them avoid dental diseases in the future.

This article reminds us that problems with your teeth, gums and breath can be warning signs for other health issues. For example, some of the plaque that is found on teeth is the same that is found in arteries, which can cause cardiovascular disease and lead to heart attacks. The mouth is truly the gateway to the body, so it’s important to recognize key warning signs early on, and to see your dentist immediately if you experience abnormalities in your teeth and gums.
Researchers found plaque on the teeth of 1,000-year-old skeletons that helped them determine health and dietary information of the person. According to the researchers, plaque deteriorates even slower than bones and teeth, proving how detrimental it is to our teeth. The most interesting thing the researchers found was that gum disease was caused by the same bacteria 1,000 years ago as it is today. Check out our website for more information on gum disease and how to prevent it.
This week, researchers found that there is a link between a mother’s oral health and that of her child. In a study published in The Journal of Dental Research, children aged 0-2 years whose mothers had high levels of a bacteria called salivary mutans streptococci (MS) in their mouths were more likely to also have high levels of MS at 3 years of age. High levels of MS often lead to Early Childhood Caries (ECC), or aggressive dental disease, which is the most common chronic childhood disease. To prevent ECC, it’s important to practice good oral health habits and receive regular dental checkups.

A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistrysays that a part of hop leaves, which gives beer its bitterness and smell, may contain a molecule that could be used to fight tooth decay. The researchers found that a specific part of the leaves, called bracts, contain a healthy antioxidant that prevents bacteria from sticking to surfaces and releasing bacterial toxins to cause cavities and gum disease.

Heidi Klum told People Magazine this week that she gave her oldest child $20 when her first tooth fell out, but now that she has four kids losing baby teeth, keeping up with the precedent of $20 per tooth is costing her a “small fortune.”