Why Dental Checks In Menopause Are Vital

May 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Health, Womens Health

When I was a girl, it was not unusual to see women in their 50s and above with false teeth — and if you want to avoid that fate then you need to take preventive action now.

There’s a lot of attention paid now to the whiteness of our teeth and how brilliant our smile is and frankly false teeth are not something anyone willingly seeks out. The expertise and technology of dentistry has improved hugely so that a full set of false teeth is less common than it used to be but there is a new warning for women who want to retain their own teeth throughout their life.

According to a new study from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic it appears that brushing, flossing and two checkups a year may not be enough to prevent tooth loss in postmenopausal women. The researchers found that two groups of postmenopausal had abnormally high levels of dental plaque, a film of bacteria, bacterial waste and food particles that sticks to teeth.

All of these women had carried out the standard advice on taking care of their teeth: brushing twice a day, flossing and having two dental checkups a year. In fact, in my experience, that is more than the average woman undertakes but it seems that even all of that was not sufficient to keep plaque in check.

Because plaque sticks to be teeth, it sets in motion the conditions that cause gum disease. This in turn is a process that can erode the sockets that anchor teeth and lead to tooth loss. There are some sensible precautions that you can take to avoid losing your teeth at or after the menopause, the first is never to finish any meal with a sweet or sugary substance without cleaning your teeth immediately afterwards.

The recommendation is that you actually increase your checkups to at least four a year and to make sure that they include deep periodontal cleaning to control plaque. Then you can happily smile your way through the menopause.

Can Plasma Jets Replace the Dentist’s Drill?

January 26, 2010 by  
Filed under featured, Health


Sounds like science fiction, but it could soon be a reality to avoid those painful sessions and target the dental bacteria that cause cavities. Scientists and dentists from Leipzig and Homburg in Germany collaborated to test the effectiveness of plasma against the bacteria that form a film on the surface of teeth and erode tooth enamel and the fibrous tooth structure underneath the enamel coating (dentin) and cause cavities. Firing low temperature plasma beams at dentin was found to reduce the amount of dental bacteria by up to 10,000-times.

These bacteria can cause you to have toothache, cavities, and sometimes severe gum infections. The researchers exposed infected teeth to plasma jets for 6, 12 or 18 seconds, and the longer the exposure then the greater the amount of bacteria that were eliminated.

Using plasma jets are a painless alternative to the drill and they could be used to remove infected tissue in tooth cavities. The low temperature of the plasma ray means they can kill the microbes while preserving the tooth and avoiding damage to the blood supply and nerves around it. and heat damage to it must be avoided at all costs.”

If you want the scientific bit; plasmas are produced when high-energy processes strip atoms of one or more of their electrons which then forms high-temperature reactive oxygen species that are capable of destroying microbes. There are hot plasmas already in use to disinfect surgical instruments and the recent development of cold plasmas with temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius show great promise for use in dentistry.

Don’t rush to your dentist just yet though, as although this is groundbreaking work it is not likely to be widely available for at least three years.