Study in a spray Anesthetic Application Could Replace Needle

Most individuals hate going to the dentist because of the idea of drilling or having a needle injected to their gums. The most common reason people skip out on dental visits is dental anxiety. That is why the study of different types of anesthetic applications as well as the general topic of sedation dentistry has become popular in the last five years. There is a new anesthetic application that may give patients more options.

In 2010 there was a study in which it could quite possible needle application could be replaced by a spray. This spray could be effective with not only just dental but other issues in dealing with pain. Scientists discovered an improved future location to administer anesthetic, the maxillary sinus; which is a golfball-sized space (American Chemical Society, 2010). This is located below each cheek in which drug can be sprayed. Considering the delivery is into a confined space could mean the next generation approach beyond nasal spray (American Chemical Society, 2010). Not just a nasal spray but a better more comfortable and effective delivery of anesthetic. This could provide a more rapid and focused delivery. This by some is considering this as a future trend for the dental industry (Natl J Maxillofac Surg. 2013). As of 2014 statistical results will be the foundation of the New Drug Application (NDA), which the company plans to submit to the FDA for review in 2014(DentistryIQ, 2014). It is not fully yet out which any individual who cannot stand going to a dentist due to the fear or hate of needles dream come true. For those who wish to follow the progress of this drug can do so by going to st-renatus site. There they post news updates on the progress of getting the spray FDA approved.

For those who don’t want to have a needle stuck in their gums, there is hope. The end game is to make going to the dentist less “horrific” in the general population’s eyes. With advances in sedation dentistry and anesthetic applications, that goal is looking more attainable.

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New Study on How Dentist Can Help Diagnose Diabetes

Many individuals do not have a primary care physician. Those individuals can have a difficult time detecting health problems such as diabetes. Individuals that lack a primary care physician. can go for years without diabetes being detected due to not going to a routine screening. This is why in truth screening for diabetes needs to be viewed in other healthcare settings. Such as dental care setting, in which many individuals do not think of a dental office setting would be how they find out they have diabetes. However, insurance patterns show that people seek more preventative oral health care than medical care.

With this being said, a visit to a dentist can be a great opportunity to identify diabetes. Identifying diabetes in the dental office can lead to connecting to a primary care provider. However, one is left with how can a dentist screen for diabetes? How do can they detect such disease?

A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients’ mouths to test for diabetes. The study took the blood of 408 people who were either diagnosed with or at risk of of diabetes. They took blood in two ways: first using the traditional “finger-prick” technique and then again using a new technique, taking blood directly from the patient’s mouth. They tested both samples for diabetes, and voila: Blood taken from the mouth matched the “finger-prick” results 99.1 percent of the time. Diabetes is a growing health concern. It’s the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S., costs Americans an estimated $245 billion a year and afflicts an estimated 29 million people. And “by 2050, 1 out of every 3 Americans will have diabetes,” according to the film “Fed Up.”

This study is a big wake up call for public health officials. Of those 29 million Americans, about 8 million of them aren’t officially diagnosed and don’t receive treatment. So finding alternative ways, such as dental screenings, to diagnose diabetes is a crucial step for public health.

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Posted in Dental Care, General Dentistry

Vitamins, Minerals and Your Oral Health

healthy food

When you take a multi-vitamin, or changing your diet to get more nutrients, you probably are doing it for your heart, muscles and the like right? Did you know your oral health depends on vitamins and minerals as well? Eating a healthy diet is just as important for your mouth as it is for the rest of your body. Certain vitamin deficiencies can have serious effects on your mouth and teeth.

Let us start with calcium. It is probably the most thought of nutrients when someone considers the connection between nutrients and oral health. This is for good reason. Your teeth and jaws are made mostly of calcium. Calcium is constantly circulating in small amounts through the bloodstream and regulated by your body. Calcium also helps prevent osteoporosis, which can lead to bone fractures and weak bone tissue around the teeth. Without enough calcium in your diet, you risk developing gum disease and tooth decay. Calcium is found in many foods and liquids, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, and oysters.

Almost as thought of as calcium is vitamin D. Vitamin D works with calcium to maintain bone quality and strength. Deficiencies of this vitamin can lead to brittle bones. In the mouth, vitamin D deficiency can increase the risks of jaw fracture and periodontal disease. The easiest and quickest way to get vitamin D is getting exposed to sunlight for several minutes two or three times a week. When you do that, the body makes it’s own vitamin D. Other sources of vitamin D include: fish liver oils and fish, fortified milk and milk products,

Though vitamin B is mostly associated with stress control, vitamin B deficiencies are one of the most common deficiencies that can affect mouth and teeth. A common oral effect of vitamin B deficiency is a burning sensation in the mouth, especially on the tongue. People with low vitamin B also can trouble swallowing, swollen tongue and sores in the mouth. Those lacking in vitamin B also can have anemia (too few red blood cells). B vitamins are found in poultry and meat, as well as in beans, legumes and green vegetables. Vegetarians might have a hard time getting enough vitamin B due to one of it’s sources being meat, so a vitamin supplement may be in order.

Iron, or lack there off, has a lot of the same effects as those who have deficiencies with vitamin B. Anemia, mouth sores, burning sensation in the mouth and tongue are all symptoms of deficiencies of vitamin B. Good sources of Iron is liver and red meat, bran cereals, some nuts, spices whole grain bread.

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is essential for good periodontal health. It helps build and repair connective tissue, which aids in preventing gum inflammation. For people who are deficient in vitamin C, the body is more likely to have trouble maintaining healthy connective tissue in the gums. Good sources of vitamin C include: citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, tomatoes, strawberries, peppers and cantaloupe.

Vitamin A is often associated with good eyesight, clear skin and a strong immune system. Vitamin A helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and salivary flow in the mouth. A lack of vitamin A can lead to delayed healing in the mouth. Vitamin A is also associated with healing of the gums, so sufficed to say, those lacking in Vitamin A may have issues with healing of the gums. Good sources of vitamin C include: fish, egg yolks and organ meats, like liver. Orange and yellow foods like carrots, mangoes and sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens contain large amounts of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A for use.

So if you start changing your diet and think about taking vitamins, consider the nutrients your mouth needs as well. They are vital to your oral health. A good oral health is a key factor to having good overall health.


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Xerostomia In Elderly Adults

Xerostomia is commonly known as dry mouth, is associated with a change in the volume and composition of saliva. The average adult produces over a quart-and-a-half of saliva a day. Besides helping to break down food and wash away particles, mineral-rich saliva serves many purposes, including limiting the growth of bacteria and viruses that cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. Xerostomia is not a disease within itself, yet a wide range of issues could cause Xerostomia. Some issues that cause Xerostomia are symptoms of various medical conditions, possible side effect of a radiation to the head and neck, or a possible side effect medications taken by the patient. It may or may not be associated with decreased salivary gland function. Xerostomia is a common complaint found often among older adults, affecting approximately 20 percent of the elderly.

Xerostomia In Elderly Adults

Elderly CoupleThere are a number of reasons why Xerostomia is so common among the elderly. The life expectancy of the elderly is increasing and they are prone to acute and chronic medical problems. Between 2007 and 2008, in older Americans above the age of 60 years, more than 76% used two or more medications. More than 500 drugs can cause dry mouth, including those used to treat heart problems, allergies, cancer and anxiety, according to the American Dental Association. Some of these medications compete with the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and block the neurotransmission process temporarily and decrease the capability of salivary gland cells to produce saliva by interfering to initiate and complete the saliva-making process. The other potential causes of Xerostomia known in the elderly are water/metabolites loss (e.g., dehydration, impaired water intake, blood loss, emesis and diarrhea), and renal water loss.

Elderly individuals with xerostomia often complain of problems with eating, speaking, swallowing and wearing dentures. Dry, crumbly foods, such as cereals and crackers, may be particularly difficult to chew and swallow. Denture wearers may have problems with denture retention, denture sores and the tongue sticking to the palate. Patients with Xerostomia often complain of taste disorders, a painful tongue, and an increased need to drink water, especially at night.

More than 500 drugs can cause dry mouth, including those used to treat heart problems, allergies, cancer and anxiety, according to the American Dental Association.

Diagnosing Xerostomia

A dentist’s first way of diagnosing Xerostomia is the patient history form. A a fully completed form and records could spot any of the following: extreme fatigue, brain fog, repeated episodes of candidiasis, Raynaud’s phenomenon (a condition in which cold temperatures or strong emotions cause blood vessel spasms), waking up at night to drink water, constant sipping of water, needing water to aid swallowing food. It’s also important to note family members with autoimmune diseases. A simple office examination and procedure that measures the flow rate of saliva can be proformed. When the mouth is examined, a tongue depressor may stick to the buccal mucosa. In women, the “lipstick sign,” where lipstick adheres to the front teeth, may be a useful indicator of Xerostomia. Sialography is an imaging technique that may be useful in identifying salivary gland stones and masses. It involves the injection of radio-opaque media into the salivary glands. Salivary scintigraphy can be useful in assessing salivary gland function.

Quick Treatments of Xerostomia

Big sips of water, even though it helps in hydrating the oral mucosa, will also wash away the protective agents in the saliva, including the proteins and mucins that gives the sensation of wetness in the oral cavity. Instead of big and frequent sips of water sip a small amount of water just enough to wet and hydrate the oral mucosa. Other treatments include : chewing gum (mechanical stimulation) and lozenges preferably with xylitol, massaging of the glands with the application of the moist heat, and using electric toothbrushes, sprays, and gel applications in the oral cavity.





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Aging Patient Implications for Dental Professionals : Bone Loss

Dental considerations of aging patients

When dentist are treating aging patient, there are special considerations a dentist must take. Having a patient of a 20 year old is different than having a patient of a 65 year old. One consideration is bone loss.

About Bone Loss

Most people will reach their peak bone mass between the ages of 25 and 30. By the time we reach age 40, we slowly begin to lose bone mass. After age 40, less bone is replaced. Increased shift of bone loss can result in osteoporosis. Post-menopausal women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis with decreased levels of estrogen. Thinner older adults are more at risk of and bone fractures than heavier older adults. Dental professionals have to be aware of the risks of osteoporosis or possible bone fractures in aging patients.

When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation to its supporting bone causes a decrease in bone volume and density. 25% of bone loss occurs during the first year after tooth loss and continues into the years to come. Facial bone loss can occur after tooth extraction. Tooth loss causes remodeling and shrinkage of the supporting jawbone and eventually leads to atrophic facial bone and collapse of overlying muscle and skin. When treating an aging patient, other bone loss factors have to be taken into consideration such as what other medical conditions the patient has and medications taken.

An osteoporosis patient may be taking bisphonate drugs. If the patient is oral bisphonate drugs, the patient, although it is low risk, can develop Osteonecrosis of the jaw. Also high-dose intravenous bisphosphonates have been identified as a risk factor for osteonecrosis of the jaw among patients. Some breast cancer treatments can cause bone loss many women being treated for breast cancer also take a bisphosphonate. Osteonecrosis of the jaw, occurs when the jaw bone is exposed and begins to starve from a lack of blood. As the name indicates the bone begins to weaken and die, which usually, but not always, causes pain.

Medical History Forms, A Tool to Determin Best Course of Action

We have an aging society. More people are growing older than babies being born. This leads to a rise in importance of considering biological aging factors of dental patients. Bone loss due to aging, is important factor to consider when dentist are treating patients.Obtaining patient medical history records are very important to be able to determine best course of action when treating and aging patient.It is very important than when a patient is filling out the medical history forms, to be honest and thorough about medical conditions and medicines. This helps the dentist make the right choice of dental treatment with consideration to the patient’s age and medical condition.




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Link between Alzheimer’s disease and oral bacteria

We have touched on connections between oral health and Alzheimer’s disease before, yet felt the need to re-touch on the subject again. Nearly 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and with aging of baby boom generation, the number of cases is expected to increase 70 percent by 2020.Now that the movie Still Alice has shined a light on Alzheimer’s disease, the time to show the oral health connection to Alzheimer’s disease seemed appropriate.

In 2013, a study published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found a link between Alzheimer’s disease and oral bacteria. Researchers analyzed brain samples from 10 people with Alzheimer’s and 10 people without the brain disease and found gum disease-related bacteria in the brain samples from four of the 10 Alzheimer’s patients. No such bacteria was found in the brain samples from people without Alzheimer’s.

“This clearly shows that there is an association between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease, but not causal association,” study author Lakshmyya Kesavalu, an associate professor in the College of Dentistry at the University of Florida, said in a university news release.

Bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream during chewing, brushing, flossing and dental procedures. The bacteria can travel in the blood to the brain and can potentially lead to brain tissue degeneration that appears similar to Alzheimer’s, the researchers said.

Another study followed 109 pairs of identical twins in Sweden to find any lifestyle factors associated with developing dementia. This study found that twins who had periodontal disease earlier in life were four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Researchers believe gum disease is a sign of inflammation, which may play a role in the destruction of brain cells. (

In 2010 NYU dental researchers have found long-term evidence that gum disease may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer’s disease in healthy individuals as well as in those who already are cognitively impaired. “The research suggests that cognitively normal subjects with periodontal inflammation are at an increased risk of lower cognitive function compared to cognitively normal subjects with little or no periodontal inflammation,” Dr. Kamer said. (

The evidence in mounting, there is a link between Alzheimer’s disease and oral bacteria. Though the research is on going the results are undeniable. Keeping your gums healthy effects more that just your smile, your cognitive abilities.

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The link between Inflammation in mouth and rheumatoid arthritis

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In the last several years more research results have been connecting the link between Inflammation in mouth and rheumatoid arthritis. At first glance, these two conditions seem to have very little in common. One deals in joint pain and the other gum and dental pain. Rheumatoid arthritis affects millions of Americans. It is considered a chronic joint disease that causes the soft tissue around joints to thicken and swell and cartilage to erode. Unlike osteoarthritis, which is characterized by joint damage from wear-and-tear stress, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the joints, especially joints of the hands and feet. It is for this reason RA is thought to be an autoimmune disease. Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease — gingivitis — the infection affects the gums. They sound very different right? Yet on closer look, these two conditions have one very important thing in common, inflammation.

Inflammation is a protective immune system response to substances like viruses and bacteria. In autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakenly triggers inflammation, although there are no viruses or bacteria to fight off. In RA, the inflammation causes joints to become swollen, painful, and stiff.

Scott Zashin, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School says “it’s possible that the immune system is stimulated by mouth inflammation and infection, “setting off a cascade of events where inflammation develops at the site of joints or arthritis.” He says controlling the inflammation through better dental care could play a role in reducing the incidence and severity of RA. ( ) .

A recent study titled “Inflammation in the Mouth and Joints in Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Has yielded some very interesting results. The study finds Periodontitis shares pathogenic mechanisms with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and may trigger its onset. In this study, researchers performed joint and dental examinations, determined Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis) antibodies, and examined inflammatory microenvironments in early and chronic RA patients. RA patients showed a marked inflammatory profile in all microenvironments, including oral, despite routine dental care. P. gingivalis antibodies can be considered as biomarkers for rheumatologists in identifying those who may benefit from periodontal treatment. (

In another research Researchers tested bacterial strains of gum disease on mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which is similar to RA in humans.

They found that the Porphyromonas gingivalis strain, responsible for periodontal disease, worsened arthritis in the mouse models by speeding up onset, progression, and severity, including the breakdown of bone and cartilage. This is because P. gingivalis creates an enzyme called peptidylarginine deiminanse (PPAD), which exacerbates CIA.

The researchers also found high levels of citrullinated proteins at the infection sites of P. gingivalis, which points to more bad news for RA sufferers since the body will attack citrullinated proteins. (

So what does all this research mean? How does all this data and research effect your daily life.? The finding show how important it is to remember that maintaining oral health keeps gingivitis at bay before it devolves into periodontal disease. The findings suggest that to decrease your chance of rheumatoid arthritis, keeping your gums clean, thus lessening the bacteria that leads to gum disease can play a major role by less chances of the immune system being triggered, thus lessening chances of triggering inflammation.

Posted from Charleston, West Virginia, United States.

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A History of Opiate Drug Laws in the United States

Prescription narcotic and opiate abuse is an epidemic on the rise. Yet, the United States in the last 115 years has been passing laws and waging a war to curb this troubling problem. Below is an infograph of the laws the United States has past since 1800’s on drug abuse. The information provided by .

A History of Opiate Laws in the United States

Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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Prevention Of Prescription Drug Abuse in Dental Practices

Prescription Drugs in Dentistry Dentist can play a key role position in in the identification and minimizing prescription drug abuse through patient education, patient assessment and referral for substance abuse treatment when indicated, and using tools such as prescription monitoring programs. Dentist have to be ever vigilant about responsible prescription writing and monitoring of their patients.

Tools for Dental Practices is minimize Prescription Drug Abuses

A growing trend for dentist is to have collaborative practice agreement between dentist and pharmacist. Collaborative practice agreements (CPAs) create a formal practice relationship between a pharmacist and another health care provider and specify what patient care services. ( ) Currently, 48 states plus the District of Columbia allow for some degree of collaborative practice agreements between pharmacists and other health care providers. Agreements between pharmacist and pain or primary care physicians are there to better control pain medications.

Patient History

Another tool a dentist has is patient health history. When a patient first meets a dentist, usually the dentist will request and obtain a patients health records. More than 40% of physicians do not ask about prescription drug abuse when taking a patient’s health history and one-third do not regularly call or obtain records from the patient’s previous (or other treating) physician before prescribing controlled, potentially addictive drugs like opioids.. (CASA). During the first consultation, the dentist should ask about past prescription drug abuse. Both dentist and patient may be uncomfortable talking about past abuse, yet an open ended question on a dentist patient health history form should be a good way to start. In order for patients not to feel as if they are being “singled out” , dentist should familiarize their patient with the practices privacy policy to instill personal health information remains confidential.

With that in mind, dentist need to coax out any information about any past and present prescription drug usage as well as illegal drug or alcohol use. Consultation with a patients other physicians such as primary care doctor or drug counselor if any abuse is known, so that proper medications during dental procedures can be given at level accordance to where they are in recovery.

Screening Tools

A dentist also has the option to use a number of screening tools in order to ascertain the situation. These screening tools where originally designed for general physician practices, but have been easily modified so dental practices can use them. These tolls include the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Treatment, NIDA- Modified Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Test and Drug Abuse Screening Test.

Alternative Prescriptions

If a patient is at risk of prescription drug abuse, a dentist may use alternative pains medication instead of opioids. The most common alternative is prescribing NSAIDS or acetaminophen. In short, medications like Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin. These medications do come with their own set of risks, so they should be taken within their proper dosage.

In Conclusion

Dentists have an ethical obligation to be cautious when prescribing medications when there is suspected prescription drug abuse. This abuse could jeopardize some of the intended results of the medication or dental procedures and aftercare they were prescribed for. If you’re a patient, please not be offended at the questions a dentist must ask. In the end, it is your wellbeing that is the most important consideration a dentist can make.


Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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History of Prescription Drug Abuse

prescription drugs

The abuse of prescription painkillers and drug abuse is not a new phenomenon. This is problem that has existed for thousands of years. In the decades and centuries following its discovery, opium was used for both medicinal and recreational purposes throughout the world, including Egypt, India, and Greek, Roman, Persian and Arab Empires.


In the 15th century, China began to use opium recreationally, under the misguided notion that opium could provide longevity and a more vigorous sex life. Shortly thereafter, opium smoking in tobacco pipes became a symbol of luxury and wealth in China, influencing infamous opium dens across the country, and around the world. In 1895, Bayer, a German pharmaceutical company, produced heroin with the intention of it being a less addictive form of morphine. It was offered as an over-the-counter drug for a short time until it was discovered that heroin was absorbed faster and was more addicting than morphine. By 1900 Opium, morphine, heroin and cocaine in wide use in over-the-counter medicines made by a pharmacist or a manufacturer In 1905, the US banned opium. The first national drug law was the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which required accurate labeling of patent medicines containing opium and certain other drugs.


Supreme Court decisions made it illegal for doctors to prescribe any narcotic to addicts; many doctors who prescribed maintenance doses as part of an addiction treatment plan were jailed, and soon all attempts at treatment were abandoned and the use of narcotics and cocaine diminished significantly by the 1920s. The spirit of temperance led to the prohibition of alcohol by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1919, but Prohibition was repealed in 1933.

1 in 6 admit to taking prescription drugs to either get high or change their

In the 40’s 50’s 60’s and 70’s , various drug laws and regulations are passed. Yet derivatives of opium are used has medication. Morphine, heroin, codeine and methadone are all highly addictive derivatives of opium that were extracted and/or created with the intention of each being less harmful and addictive than its predecessor. All four substances are now considered among the most highly abused and addictive drugs available in the world. Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet are commonly prescribed synthetic opiates that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration,

The use of prescription pain relievers, stimulants, sedatives and tranquilizers in an abusive manner continues. Current trends show younger people, including teenagers, are becoming addicted to these prescription medications, as well as elderly patients. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of people abusing prescription drugs increased from just under 600,000 in 1990 to 2.5 million in 2000.



Posted from Houston, Texas, United States.

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Posted in Dental Care, Dental Implant, General Dentistry