Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Brushing Teeth: New ‘Massage Method’ Quadruples Protection Against Tooth Decay, Study Suggests

Toothbrush, photo taken in Sweden

Toothbrush, photo taken in Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 25 March 2012 article at Science News Daily

Do you really want to avoid cavities in your teeth? Try massaging them with a high-fluoride toothpaste after lunch. “Rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth increases the fluoride protection by 400%,” says Anna Nordström, dentist, PhD and researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden..

…Eight years ago a new brand of toothpaste was launched in Sweden with more than three times as much fluoride as standard toothpaste. Available without prescription, it is aimed primarily at those with high caries risk….

…Also tested was a new method developed in collaboration with professor Dowen Birkhed, which involves rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth with a finger.
“This ‘massage’ method proved to be at least as effective as a third brushing in increasing the amount of fluoride in the mouth,” Anna Nordström explains. “Rubbing the front of your teeth with toothpaste can be an easy way of giving your teeth a third “shot” of fluoride during the day, after lunch for example. But this should not replace brushing with a fluoride toothpaste morning and evening — it’s an extra.”
Daily use is essential
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste has played — and continues to play — a major role in combating tooth decay, and there is strong scientific evidence that daily use of fluoride toothpaste has a pronounced preventive effect.
The study Effect of a third application of toothpaste (1450 and 5000 ppm F), including a “massage” method, on fluoride retention and pH drop in plaque was published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavia.
THE RESEARCHER´S TOP TIPS • Use toothpaste at least twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed. • If necessary, brush a third time or rub on some toothpaste instead. • If you have problems with cavities, choose a toothpaste with a higher fluoride content. • Avoid rinsing out the toothpaste with water.

 

March 26, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

How Bacteria Fight Fluoride in Toothpaste and in Nature

Yale researchers have uncovered the molecular tricks used by bacteria to fight the effects of fluoride, which is commonly used in toothpaste and mouthwash to combat tooth decay. (Credit: © mathom / Fotolia)

From the 22 December 2011 Science News Daily article

Yale researchers have uncovered the molecular tricks used by bacteria to fight the effects of fluoride, which is commonly used in toothpaste and mouthwash to combat tooth decay.

In the Dec. 22 online issue of the journal Science Express, the researchers report that sections of RNA messages called riboswitches — which control the expression of genes — detect the build-up of fluoride and activate the defenses of bacteria, including those that contribute to tooth decay.

“These riboswitches are detectors made specifically to see fluoride,” said Ronald Breaker, the Henry Ford II Professor and chair of the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and senior author of the study.

Fluoride in over-the-counter and prescription toothpastes is widely credited with the large reduction in dental cavities seen since these products were made available beginning in the 1950s. This effect is largely caused by fluoride bonding to the enamel of our teeth, which hardens them against the acids produced by bacteria in our mouths. However, it has been known for many decades that fluoride at high concentrations also is toxic to bacteria, causing some researchers to propose that this antibacterial activity also may help prevent cavities.

The riboswitches work to counteract fluoride’s effect on bacteria. “If fluoride builds up to toxic levels in the cell, a fluoride riboswitch grabs the fluoride and then turns on genes that can overcome its effects,” said Breaker…

Read the entire news article

December 23, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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