:DentalPlans Weekly Dental And Healthcare News Roundup


Here’s our latest pick of the most interesting and useful health and wellness stories from across the Internet.

Sad-Faced Selfies

More than a quarter of people don’t smile in their selfies because they hate their teeth, according to a new study by Bupa, an international healthcare group.

Apparently though, some of us do smile no matter how we feel about our teeth, or Facebook would be a very sad place indeed.  The Bupa study included about 2,000 participants, and 81 percent of those people said that they believe their teeth look unattractive in photographs.

42 percent of respondents said their smile was the first thing they would change about themselves and slightly more than one third of the people said they were embarrassed by their smile.

Half of the people who said they were embarrassed or worried about their smile also admitted that they didn’t know how to brush their teeth properly – 29 percent didn’t always use toothpaste when brushing, more than two thirds said they never flossed. One out of five people also stated that they chewed gum instead of brushing their teeth.

Lovely Licorice

Researchers have found that licorice roots contain a compound called trans-chalcone, which contains a natural chemical that blocks the action of a key enzyme—Sortase A—which enables bacteria to thrive in oral cavities. Killing the Streptoccocus mutans bacteria would aid in the prevention of tooth decay and greatly reduce the buildup of plaque.

The study appeared in the journal Chemical Communications and was conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh.  Researchers intend to extend the study to other natural products to gauge their results.

Licorice sticks have long been used for dental hygiene in many locations, including the Americas and Africa. Licorice flavored candies and cough drops do not have beneficial dental effects.

Missing Teeth = Cardiac trouble

Medical studies are increasingly solidifying the link between oral health and overall wellness.

Advanced tooth loss is usually a sign that a person has a history of inflammatory oral diseases, according to a recent study by the University of Helsinki and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

The study clearly demonstrated that there’s a correlation between tooth loss and future cardiovascular events and diabetes. The research indicates that medical professionals should use the number of missing teeth to gauge a patient’s risk potential for disease.

The study, of 8,446 subjects ages 25 to 75, found that more than five missing teeth raised the risk of coronary heart disease problems and myocardial infarctions by as much as 140 percent.  The risk of diabetes rose as well (13 percent). Since cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are among the most common causes of death across the world, it was no surprise to see that in about 37% of the cases where nine or more teeth were missing, life expectancy was shortened.

Clearing up infection and the associated inflammation can help to lower risk those risk levels.

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