ADAA 24/7 News Brief
Dec. 7, 2010

Tooth decay to be a thing of the past?
The structure and functional mechanism of the glucansucrase enzyme that is responsible for dental plaque sticking to teeth has been deciphered. This knowledge will stimulate the identification of substances that inhibit the enzyme. Just add that substance to toothpaste, or even sweets, and caries will be a thing of the past.More

Maker of Invisalign teeth straighteners gets FDA warning about disclosing patient side effects
The Associated Press via Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to a company that makes a popular teeth straightener about its failure to report information about patient side effects. Align Technology Inc., which makes the Invisalign system, disclosed that it received a Nov. 18 warning letter from the FDA following an inspection this summer.More

Mona the mutt makes the perfect dental assistant
USA Today
Oh, the dread, the anxiety, the wrenching grip on the gut that makes it hard to put one foot in front of the other, hard to breathe, even. Yup, we're talking that most hideous of everyday experiences: the routine trip to the dentist. Tracy A. Taddey, a dentist for 12 years, and her dentist dad, who has been rummaging around mouths for 35 years, don't try to kid themselves even a little bit about the level of eagerness that accompanies most visitors entering their La Jolla, Calif.More

Periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis
Dental Economics
Recent research has indicated an association between two chronic, noncurable diseases — periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating, autoimmune, joint destroying, chronic inflammatory condition of unknown etiology. It affects about 1 percent of the adult population. Anyone who has experienced rheumatoid arthritis firsthand, or in a family member or friend, understands how life-changing it can be.More

Peanut butter may reduce gum disease
A study involving 9,000 adults conducted at the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health found eating foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acids such as peanut butter and salmon reduced gum disease. The specific fatty acids associated with gum disease reduction were docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).More

Erosive lesions in patients with alcoholism
Journal of the American Dental Association
Researchers found patients with alcoholism may be at risk of developing erosive lesions on their teeth owing to the low pH level of their oral environment and decreased saliva levels.More

Sensitive subject: Sensitive teeth
One zing to the nerve of a tooth after a sip or bite of food is enough to send even the hungriest bear running from the kitchen. Sensitive teeth can seriously limit the enjoyment of your favorite fare. If ice cream meeting your tooth has you seeing stars, the layer beneath the surface of your tooth (called dentin) has become exposed, says Eric Sung, DDS, professor at UCLA's School of Dentistry. This happens when the hard outer covering of a tooth — enamel above the gum line and cementum on the root — wears away, exposing microscopic tubules in the dentin that lead to the nerve of the tooth. After that, biting into foods that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic (like tomatoes, oranges, or lemons, whose acids can eat away at enamel and cementum) can cause searing pain.More