Every year, new research in the world of dentistry opens our eyes to information that can help us gain even greater control over our oral health. Whether you’re learning more about the connections between the health of your mouth and the well-being of the rest of your body, or you’re accessing new tips on how to address a range of common dental problems, there’s always some fresh insight to look forward to. And 2018 definitely did not disappoint. Check out our dental news review below to learn about a few of the top headlines from the last year.
In the early part of 2018, wine lovers were happy to learn that red wine, in particular, might be beneficial when it comes to helping to reduce the odds of developing gum disease and tooth decay. That’s because red wine contains polyphenols that could limit bacteria’s ability to contribute to oral problems like cavities and plaque.
Before you start downing a couple glasses of red wine every day, though, consider that this beverage is acidic, which means it is also capable of damaging your enamel. Experts recommend limiting your intake of wine and drinking it while enjoying a meal in order to help reduce enamel erosion. Plus, too much red wine may also lead to unsightly stains on your pearly whites, and you certainly don’t want that!
2018 also brought some scary dental news that’s worth talking about. Basically, a long-term study allowed researchers to collect data proving that there is a connection between advanced gum disease and a higher risk of developing cancers like lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Just more proof that what’s going on in your mouth could affect the health of other parts of your body!
While this research reinforces what other studies had previously noted regarding the potential connection between gum disease and increased cancer risk, experts want to do more research. Their aim is to discover if keeping your mouth healthy can indeed be a smart step towards reducing the risk of certain cancers.
Tooth erosion and sensitivity are common problems. Therefore, it’s no surprise that there are now so many toothpastes claiming that they can help prevent the loss of enamel and reduce sensitivity. Unfortunately, when researchers conducted a study to determine if some of those toothpastes are actually effective, they discovered that none of them really performed like they claimed they would. Not good!
If you’re hoping to protect the surface of your teeth, you can’t rely on toothpaste to get the job done. In fact, some toothpastes and brushing techniques could be so abrasive that they actually make the problem worse, even if the toothpaste claims it can help. Of course, daily (gentle!) brushing is absolutely necessary, but you also need to see your dentist regularly, and it’s also a great idea to reduce your intake of acidic foods and beverages that could damage enamel.
Some of the most exciting dental news from 2018 involves a new, natural product that can utilize peptides to treat cavities and rebuild dental enamel, hopefully paving the way for an alternative to traditional treatments like fillings. Basically, the peptides could remineralize a tooth, theoretically resolving cavities. How amazing!
The best part is that this might be an approach that patients would be able to take advantage of quite easily if it becomes available. But experts are still working on this technology, so it might be some time before it’s on the market for people to use as a preventive measure or as an alternative to other treatments.
If you experience anxiety when you need to go to the dentist, you aren’t alone—in fact, it’s estimated that up to 30% of adults around the world deal with this uneasiness in the dentist’s chair. But, according to experts, there’s now evidence that shows one of the solutions to that anxiety could be acupuncture.
How do they know that acupuncture might help? Well, they reviewed several trials that involved hundreds of patients. Using a points scale, they were able to determine the patients’ anxiety levels. When individuals received acupuncture treatments, their anxiety went down by eight points, which was significant enough to show that the treatment worked. So, although more research in this area is necessary, if you’re thinking about ways to tackle your anxiety the next time you have a dental appointment, you might want to give acupuncture a try.
These five headlines are just a sampling of the many dental news headlines that made waves in 2018. Whether it’s greater insight into what you can eat and drink to help protect your teeth, information on the latest innovations that could help treat problems like cavities, or tips on how to protect the health of your body by taking care of your mouth, there’s always more news to look forward to. After all, experts are constantly working hard to discover more about oral care and what people can do daily to maintain a clean and vibrant smile.