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Bacterium Links Gum and Heart Disease

There has been a great deal of discussion in recent years about the link between gum disease and heart disease. Now, researchers have found the culprit responsible for this link. The bacterium known as “Porphyromonas gingivalis” is well known to dentists and periodontists for causing the development of “periodontitis,” the serious form of gum infection

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New Reason Behind Childhood Tooth Decay

Despite the gains provided by fluoridated water, tooth decay is the leading chronic childhood illness in the United States. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that 42% of U.S. children aged 2-11 have primary-tooth decay, and 21% of children aged 6-11 have tooth decay in their permanent teeth. While this high incidence

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Simple Fix for Crooked Teeth

When teeth are crooked, chipped, or overlapping, individuals may hesitate or even forego visiting the dentist or orthodontist in the belief that treatment would be too expensive. The fact is, however, that damaged and out-of-position teeth can often be remedied without orthodontic treatment, veneers, or crowns. The cosmetic technique known as “tooth reshaping and contouring”

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Sensitive Subject

Tooth sensitivity can be triggered by hot or cold foods and liquids or merely by breathing in cold air. The sudden, sharp pain associated with these activities is due to the involvement of nerve endings in one or more teeth. Sometimes, receding gums expose the soft “dentin” layer, which is below the enamel and encapsulates

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The Future of Root Canal Treatment

Fifteen million “root canal” procedures are performed in this country annually. These procedures are undertaken when a tooth’s nerve becomes infected or the pulp (the soft material inside the tooth) becomes damaged and bacteria in the pulp chamber cause an infection or abscess. The goal is to preserve the tooth by removing the pulp, the

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Filling in the Missing Pieces

Tooth loss resulting from accidents, gum disease, unsuccessful root canal treatment, or decay necessitates treatment to restore chewing/biting ability and prevent adjacent teeth from moving into spaces left by missing teeth. While dentures and fixed bridgework used to be the most popular options, dental implants have been gaining ground largely because they look, feel, and

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Pity the Poor Prehistoric Patient

Today, we usually take it for granted that having a cavity filled at the dentist’s office is a relatively quick, painless, and effective means of keeping tooth decay in check and preserving overall health. However, it certainly wasn’t always that way. When scientists recently examined the 14,000-year-old skeleton of a caveman, who was discovered by

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Milk in Your Tea?

Tea, the second most consumed drink in the world, is brimming with antioxidants that are linked with a number of health benefits, including protecting against cardiovascular disease and a number of cancers. However, tea also contains natural compounds called “tannins” that make it taste bitter and also stain teeth. If tea-stained teeth are a problem,

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A Real Snore

While snoring used to be regarded as nothing more than a noisy habit, it’s now known that snoring may be a symptom of a potentially unhealthy sleep problem. “Sleep apnea” has been linked to high blood pressure and heart problems. Snoring is a sign of a narrowed space either in the nasal passages or at

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A Wider Role for Dentists

As dentists increasingly screen their patients for medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, many health professionals are calling for dentists to also conduct dental screenings for drug misuse. For many patients, a visit to the dentist is the only interaction they have with a medical professional. If these patients (and others) display dental

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