Latest Dental News

By dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell

Find out the latest dental news here; there are constant developments in the world of dentistry, from toothpaste to dangers of gum infections.

I'll be adding news here as it comes along, with links to the authority publishing the news and my personal opinions.

Be sure to bookmark this page, and come back regularly to keep up to date!

With World events we have been slow in updating this page - also, we emigrated to New Zealand in June 2021, and we were occupied with a major life event!

But now we are back on track, and I will be uploading things of interest each week.

12th September 2021

Here's  an interesting article about the bacteria that accumulate on your tooth brush bristles.  This article tells you about an ultra violet light sanitizer.

10th September 2021

Here is an interesting case from this week. All six upper front teeth had become stained and decayed after several years of substance abuse. Now clean, we wanted to improve things. In the photo below, I have completed treatment on the left hand side of the screen as you look at it, and the other side is about to be treated.

Six upper front teeth with the left 3 restored and the right 3 still stained and decayed, before treatment.Left side restored, and the right side up next!

The patient was very pleased!

November 25, 2020

A report in Yahoo News reveals that some TikTok influencers are showing their followers their teeth following preparation by a dentist for "veneers".  However they are showing preparations for full crowns, which is a much more aggressive procedure, and rarely recommended in young people just for cosmetics.

Image courtesy @drshaadimanoucheri/TikTok

Basically, these influencers are misleading their followers, and recommending unnecessary and damaging treatment.

October 4, 2020

According to the American Dental Association website, "Dentists and dental hygienists are essential health care workers who should be afforded early access to a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a vaccine distribution framework released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine during an Oct. 2 webinar."

October 2,  2020

An interesting court case in Ireland ruled that the bread in a Subway heated sandwich contains too much sugar to be classified as bread. A franchisee went to court to argue that bread is a staple food, and should be exempt from Value Added Tax. Under Irish law, bread must contain LESS than 2% sugar by weight. However, the 'bread' used in Subway heated sanwiches contains 10% sugar by weight - 5 times the limit. The court ruled that the 'bread' must be classified as confectionery ('candy'), and so is liable to Value Added Tax in Ireland.

September 8, 2020

OK, it's been a while since the last update. But we have been living through strange times, with advice and laws changing every few days. But here is a factual Yahoo News story about the dental effects of the stresses caused by all aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic;

Read about it all HERE.

March 2, 2020

Recent research at Colorado State University gives extra support to the growing body of evidence that you need a healthy mouth in order to have a healthy body. Published in the journal Science Reports, the study found a strong correlation between how often someone visits the dentist and the levels of gum-disease causing bacteria. Those who flossed their teeth regularly had the lowest levels of disease-causing pathogens.

 provided by Colorado State University. Original written by Anne Manning.

Journal Reference:

:Zachary M. Burcham, Nicole L. Garneau, Sarah S. Comstock, Robin M. Tucker, Rob Knight, Jessica L. Metcalf. Patterns of Oral Microbiota Diversity in Adults and Children: A Crowdsourced Population StudyScientific Reports, 2020; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-59016-0

February 14 2020

It's Valentines Day today, but not everyone is happy. Dentists in the U.K. are running out of face masks due to the huge demand created by the corona virus outbreak. Prices of surgical masks have risen by up to 3 times, according to an article on the BBC website. Here's the link to read the full story at the BBC website.

February 2020

In the United Kingdom, there has been a big increase in prosecutions for illegal tooth whitening. According to the BBC website, the General Dental Council in the U.K. has reported a 26% increase in reported illegal whitening in 2019.

An undercover investigation discovered that a Beautician School claimed to have provided "thousands" of illegal qualifications to beauticians in the U.K.. Beauticians using teeth-whitening kits have been known to cause tooth loss, burns and blisters.

Read more about this at the BBC website HERE.

February 2020

Recent research confirms that brushing your tongue after tooth brushing and flossing is better than using a tongue scraper. While neither method of cleaning your tongue helps much in reducing bad-breath-causing VSC's (volatile sulfur compounds), using your tooth brush to clean your tongue reduces the bacteria levels in your mouth.

August 27th 2019

A recent study published in the British Dental Journal looked at elite athletes from 11 sports. It showed that they brushed and flossed their teeth more often than the general public. However they also had higher rates of tooth decay and enamel erosion.

The reason is thought to be the high use of sports drinks, energy bars and energy gels. Another possible reason is that the mouth becomes very dry due to heavy breathing during exercise.

The study recommended that athletes use very high-fluoride toothpastes, fluoride mouthwashes, and more frequent dental visits.

Latest Dental News

August 25th 2019

According to the New Scientist magazine August 10th 2019, there is continually mounting evidence that the bacteria involved in gum disease may well be connected to SEVERAL other medical conditions.

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson's
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney disease

In January 2019, teams of scientists at (that's eight) universities and also the San Francisco based company Cortexyme found an enzyme called "gingipain"  that digests proteins. It is only produced by a bacteria called P. gingivalis.

They found it in 99% of brain samples from people who had did of Alzheimer's Disease. And it was present in proportion to the severity of the disease.

Next, if the scientific teams gave a small sample of the bacteria to mice, the animals developed symptoms of Alheimer's, which went away again if the team used techniques to block the enzyme gingipain.

Also, brains of people who died without signs of Alzheimer's also had some gingipains present, BUT at much lower levels than Alzheimer's sufferers. This fits with the picture that gingipains can accumulate over many years (20+) before symptoms of Alzheimer's appears.

Researchers have also found high levels of P. gingivalis in the fatty deposits that line the arteries and cause blood clots. But what are gum bacteria doing, lining the arteries? It seems they can get everywhere, causing damage over time.

The lesson - don't skip brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dental hygienist!

Added August 25th 2019.

February 2019

An article in the British Dental Journal says that over-the-counter tooth-whitening products may damage tooth enamel. Five over-the-counter products - available from Boots and Superdrug - were tested to determine whether or not non-hydrogen peroxide products are safe. The lead author of the study said that they discovered damage to the enamel surface, similar to that caused by acids.

A number of the products tested contained sodium chlorite, which combined with other ingredients such as citric acid, will dissolve the surface layer of the enamel.

British Dental Association scientific advisor Professor Damien Walmsley said that, "at best, consumers are wasting their money - and at worst you could be gambling with your teeth."

Read the full story HERE.

Added February 22nd 2019

February 5th 2019

HERE is an interesting new development in tooth brushing. The Y-brush uses a complete U-shaped brush device driven by ultrasonics, to brush your teeth in 10 seconds flat! I have not yet personally tested the device, but it looks very interesting. I have contacted the company, and will keep you up to date with developments! Have a look at their homepage.

Added February 5th 2019

Latest Dental News

January 26th 2019

Recent research has shown a link between gum disease and the risk of getting Alzheimers. Published in the journal "Science Advances", the research showed that bacteria involved in gum disease was found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

This news has also made the cover story of the prestigious magazine "New Scientist" this month.

According to the BBC in the U.K.;

"Tests on mice confirmed the bacteria could travel from the mouth to the brain and showed the toxic protein they secrete, called gingipain, destroyed brain neurons.

The bacteria also increased production of amyloid beta, a component of the amyloid plaques commonly associated with Alzheimer's."

I think it's important to realize that the term "gum disease" does NOT mean that you have to have red, bleeding gums and wobbly teeth. Sure, these are signs of ADVANCED gum disease, but many people have low-grade (or "chronic") gum disease without realizing it! I recommend tat you visit my page about how to cure gum disease for a full run-down on how to avoid this insideous condition.

Here is the link to the BBC article.

Read my own page about this new connection HERE.

Added January 26 2019

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December 20th 2018

According to the BBC here, our ancestors 10,000 years ago had figured out how to drill holes in teeth to relieve the pain of toothache. This coincides with the development of farming, and the increase in carbohydrates in the diet may have contributed to the rise in dental cavities.

Before organised farming became established, dental disease was relatively rare, according to fossil records.

Added December 20 2018

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