grandma smiling

Over the Hill? Reasons to See Your Dentist Now

Many people don’t see the need in having good oral health. As a result, the number of oral health problems has gone up in the over the last years. Oral health does not only have to do with your teeth and mouth, it has big impact on general health, too. Just like most other diseases, oral health problems tend to increase with age. Below are some oral health concerns adults ages 40-60 should be on the lookout for.

Tooth or Root Decay

Tooth or root decay is usually caused by poor dental care. When teeth are not properly brushed, bacteria and plaque build up. This buildup, over time, wears away the enamel creating cavities and, ultimately, tooth decay. Even at the ages of 40-50, adults can suffer from tooth or root decay. It is important to clean your teeth and the root surfaces properly to remove dental plaque and food debris.

Periodontal Disease

This is one of the most common and dangerous oral problems affecting adults. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums, as well as the area between the gums and teeth. The disease begins when food particles and bacteria that cause tooth decay, move to the gum.

If left untreated it can progress to mild gum inflammation and severe gum diseases which will affect not only the gums and teeth but also the supporting bones. In extreme circumstances, the infection could damage the bone structure holding the teeth in place, leading to tooth loss.

Gum Disease

This condition occurs when the gum tissues become infected due to buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. Gum disease is one of the major oral concerns for adults, because accumulated plaque from years of poor diet and bad oral health care habits can increase the risk of Gum Disease. The most common symptom of this disease are swollen, red, and bleeding gums. As soon as you experience this, call your Shreveport dentist to start a proper treatment plan.

Sensitive Teeth

Many people experience a sharp sensation when having an icy glass of water or very hot cup of tea. Most will wait to have their sensitivity treated until it becomes too much to bear.Tooth sensitivity can be caused by gum disease, cavities, worn tooth enamel or use of the wrong toothbrush. It’s important to see your local dentist about your sensitivity to find the root of your sensitivity.


Diabetes occurs when the body’s blood glucose exceeds or is below normal levels. People suffering from diabetes are more likely to have problems with gum disease, dry mouth and thrush, a condition that results from a fungus growing in the mouth. Side effects of diabetes medication may also cause oral diseases.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also referred to as Xerostomia, refers to reduction in saliva production that leaves the mouth unusually dry. It is commonly caused by side effects of oral medications, but can also occur due to other dental problems. The condition may be accompanied by difficulties in eating, swallowing, speaking and decrease in taste sensation.


Tooth discoloration, or yellowing of the teeth, tends to increase with age. Because the tooth enamel weakens as you grow older, your teeth tend to appear yellow. At this point in life drinks like coffee and wine, or even smoking, will stain your teeth significantly.

Dental Attrition

Attrition is the wear and tear of your tooth surface. This occurs as a normal sign of aging, but can cause damage to your oral health. Improper diets and habits such as chewing, grinding, and clenching your teeth often result in dental attrition.

Start Sooner, Rather Than Later

Father and Son SmilingBrushing and flossing on a daily basis is very important, no matter your age. If you experience a loose tooth or slight tooth pains, see your dentist right away to start treatment as soon as possible. Even if you are not concerned with your oral health now, remember that prevention is better than trying to find a cure later.

Visit your local Shreveport dentist, Dr. Chris Mott, if you have questions about maintaining good oral health as you age.

Are Sugar Free Drinks Killing Your Teeth?

Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. In an effort to combat obesity, companies are manufacturing products that are sweetened with sugar alternatives and are often calorie-free. They are marketed under many brand names, Coke and Pepsi are just a few, but these sugar substitutes are terrible for your teeth. You probably never thought that switching to sugar-free and calorie free drinks would hurt you, but it’s time to shed some light on these substitutes for what they really are: unhealthy.

One Can of Soda Can Cause Permanent Damage

The University of Melbourne conducted a study to show that sugar-free foods and drinks can cause just as much damage to the tooth’s enamel as those drinks with sugar. The study revealed shocking results. A can of diet soda will soften the enamel on a tooth by up to 50 percent. Researchers couldn’t believe that something that was supposed to be healthier for you was actually doing this much damage.

To back their theory, they tested 23 different kinds of sodas. They looked at energy drinks and various named sugar-free sodas. What they found was that it didn’t really matter if the drink had a low-calorie substitute or regular sugar: they all eroded the teeth and left them at a higher risk for tooth decay. Their findings blew away the theory that using sugar substitutes reduces the risk of tooth decay.

How Sugar-Free Drinks Damage Your Teeth

At Dr. Chris Mott’s office, we try to teach our patients that sugar-filled and sugar-free drinks are bad for your physical and oral health. The bacterium inside your mouth feeds off sugars and creates acid. These acids then cause permanent damage to the teeth through the erosion process.

Erosion occurs when acids in your mouth Cheerful beautiful young woman laughing and drinking sodadissolve the hard tissues on the tooth’s surface. Slowly, these acids strip away the tooth’s enamel. As the acid progresses into the tooth, it eventually  reaches the pulp on the inside. But which types of acids are guilty of destroying your teeth?

The main culprits are citric and phosphoric acid. Reading the labels on all of your food and drink purchases can save your teeth from damage in the future.

How You Can Avoid Tooth Destruction

Avoiding foods like candy and lollipops, even in the sugar-free form, is best. Even if the package implies that there is no sugar and that the product is healthier for you, you should avoid it as best you can. Many chewing gum companies will market their product as “dentally safe”, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Anything with a high citric acid level has the potential to cause permanent damage, so be sure to read the labels of the things you are putting into your mouth.

Don’t Believe It? Ask Your Dentist.

If you want a healthy smile, Dr. Chris Mott’s local Shreveport dentist office, advises that you limit your intake of acidic foods and drinks. If you do choose to indulge in these items, swish some tap water into the mouth to help harden the enamel. To avoid damage when you brush your teeth, be sure rinse your mouth with tap water prior to picking up your toothbrush.

If you don’t believe that sugar-free drinks and foods are just as bad for you, just call your local Shreveport dentist, Dr. Chris A. Mott, and hear what he has to say.

Why Dental Visits Are Important to You and Your Baby

Taking care of your teeth while pregnant is essential for your gums and health. During pregnancy, the hormonal imbalance can increase your risk of gum disease, which can be detrimental to your baby’s development. Here are a few ways Dr. Chris Mott suggests to take care of your teeth before, during, and after your pregnancy, as well as how you can take care of your little one’s first tooth.

Maintaining Oral Health Before Pregnancy

800-6217-5Seeing a dentist before you are pregnant allows you to make sure everything is in order with your gums and teeth. Your teeth can be professionally cleaned, your gum tissue can be examined, and most importantly, any oral problems that you may have can be treated.

If you suddenly have to get a dental surgery done while pregnant, the aesthetic may harm the baby. If you catch it before, you can have it removed without worry of harming your child. This is why the majority of moms-to-be should visit their dentist before they plan to get pregnant.

Visiting Your Dentist During Pregnancy

Image of pregnant woman touching her belly with handsDental Procedures

It is extremely important that you tell your dentist that you’re pregnant so that he can be more aware of any pregnancy-related problems that may arise. Urgent dental procedures can be done while pregnant; however, most dentists agree that if the procedure can wait until after delivery, to do schedule the procedure after delivery.

Be sure to ask your OBGYN about any worries you may have with an urgent or elective dental procedure to see if they have any special instructions or additional information.


Let your dentist know what medications you are taking, including your type of Prenatal Vitamin. Your local dentist can base their oral procedures and examinations around your medication in case any side effects may occur.


Oral x-rays can be done during pregnancy, as your dentist will ensure to safeguard you and your baby from any harmful x-rays. If you are due for a dental x-ray, be sure to let your dentist or hygienist know that you are pregnant so they can prepare for your visit.

Dental Visits

It’s important that you don’t skip a dental appointment. Regular gum exams are very important due to the hormone changes in your body that can lead to gum disease. Make sure to look out for any gum tenderness, bleeding or swelling. If any of these issues occur, let Dr. Chris Mott know as soon as possible.

Routine Dental Hygiene

Make sure you brush your teeth with toothpaste and mouthwash twice a day to keep up with good oral hygiene. If morning sickness stops you from brushing, get a bland-tasting toothpaste, and use a mouth rinse if you get frequent bouts of vomiting.

Dental Hygiene After Pregnancy

Mom’s Orhappy mom and daughter outdooral Health

After you have had your baby, you should be able to resume dental appointments as they were before. Remember to brush twice a day, and have a good balanced diet. If you’ve experienced any gum problems throughout your pregnancy, see your dentist as soon as you can to have your mouth and gums examined, and your oral health reevaluated.

Baby’s Oral Health

If you’re a first-time mom, taking care of your baby’s mouth and teeth may prove tricky. But in reality, it isn’t that difficult at all. In fact, you can look after your baby’s gums right away by wiping down their gums before bed and after every feeding.

Teething is when your baby starts growing their first teeth. This process is very uncomfortable for your child, so try to make it as comfortable as possible. The most common symptoms of teething are:

  • Crying
  • Drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • A slightly raised temperature

To ease the teething pain of your baby, you can try a few things:

  • Buy teething toys that soothe your child’s teeth and gums.
  • Rub your child’s gums.
  • Use pediatrician or pediatric dentist recommended pain relievers. Do NOT give your baby regular pain relievers such as Aspirin or Motrin.

Your child should start to see the dentist around the ages of 1-2, regardless of the number of teeth they currently have. By doing so your dentist can advise you about tooth care, teething, fluoride and thumb sucking early on.

We know pregnancy is hard enough as it is. If you are worried about your dental health while pregnant, give our office a call to have Dr. Chris Mott answer your questions and give you peace of mind.

Q&A with Your Local Dentist

A visit to your local Shreveport dentist is the perfect opportunity to ask questions about your oral health and effective ways to improve your smile. A dentist appointment should always be more than just a dental cleaning session.

During your next visit with your dentist, consider asking Dr. Mott a few questions:

What are the best ways to practice good oral hygiene at home?

The best way to ensure your dental hygiene is at its best is by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. Additionally, other practices that promote good oral health include:

  • Avoid sugary products such as soft drinks and biscuits.
  • Use dental products that contain fluoride.
  • Eat a balanced diet loaded with fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid smoking.

Ask your dentist for more information on what you can do for your individual oral health routine.

How do I know if I have tooth sensitivity and why do I have it?

Tooth sensitivity is a very painful sensation you get while consuming extremely hot or cold food and drink. This is a result of having thin tooth enamel.. When your tooth enamel thins out, it fails to protect the tooth pulp or dentin from exposure to extreme temperatures. Tooth sensitivity can also be caused by: receding gums, fractured teeth, teeth grinding, whitening or orthodontics. Be sure to ask your dentist why you are experiencing this condition and how you can treat it at home.

When should my child see a dentist?

A majority of parents do not  know the ideal age they should begin to take their children to  the dentist. Medical statistics show that children as young as two years old can develop cavities. Booking a visit with Dr. Mott early on will help to identify potential problems that can affect your child’s overall health as more teeth show up.

What kind of products should I use at home to improve the dental wellness of my family?

Visiting a local drug store for dental products can be overwhelming. With so many options to choose from it is best to ask your dentist to suggest what products you should use for everyone in your family.  A qualified dentist will suggest the most ideal toothbrush, mouthwash, floss, and other effective products for special dental needs.

What diet changes should I make to improve my dental health?

Your local dentist is the person to ask about the best diet for your oral health. Ask them about the kind of foods of foods that will improve your dental health.

What is my overall dental health status?

You can ask your dentist to provide a comprehensive examination of your mouth area to ensure everything is functioning properly. This will help to establish if there are any oral issues that should be looked at further. The dentist will check for things like bumps and bone density to figure out the most effective treatment options.

Can oral health impact on my overall health?

Your oral health has an impact on your overall body health. Oral complications can have effects on other parts of the body such heart disease. A reputable Shreveport dentist will offer advice to help improve your dental health and general health. Ask him about your diet, brushing and flossing habits, and any medications that may affect your oral health.


So there you have it. The next time you go to see a dentist, don’t let your dentist ask all the questions. If you do find that you have more questions about your oral health once you leave your dentist appointment, call Dr. Mott for the answers you are looking for.

How to Maintain Healthy Teeth Pt 2

In the first part of our two part series, Shreveport dentist, Dr. Chris Mott shares the first 5 tips on maintaining a healthy mouth. Dr. Mott picks up where he left off and shares the final 5 tips below:

Use Fluoride

Fluoride strengthens enamel to reduce the chances of tooth decay. If your water is not fluoridated, your dental professional may suggest applying a fluoride application to your teeth. While many toothbrushes and mouth rinses contain fluoride, they should be used sparingly (about a pea-sized dab) in young children. Too much fluoride causes unwanted white spots on the teeth, but just enough will prevent tooth decay.

Stop Smoking and Using Tobacco

Tobacco not only stains teeth, but also increases the chances of gum disease and oral cancer. So it’s better you quit smoking or chewing tobacco and teach your kids not to start.

Protect Your Teeth

While sports and recreational activities are healthy, they can be a threat to your teeth. Schools might require children to wear mouth guards while playing contact sports to protect teeth from rough playing. This will be in your favor to prevent any damage to you or your child’s teeth. 

As unsupervised recreational activities like skateboarding and rollerblading can also lead to injuries, have your dentist customize a mouthguard for you or your child. You can also buy mouth guards at sports stores. Most will soften with hot water to mold to your individual mouth shape.

Say No to Sugary Foods

Mouth bacteria breaks down simple sugars into acids which will erode tooth enamel and start the process of tooth decay. It’s important to avoid sweets, chocolates, and sugary drinks, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks. Sipping on these drinks over a long period of time raises will raise the body’s acid levels. Additionally, carbonated drinks will worsen matters as carbonation increases decaying activity. Snacks such as sticky candies will also linger on teeth surfaces for long periods of time.

Make an Appointment

Dr. Mott recommends to have a dental check at least twice a year, and preferably more if you have problems with gum disease or other mouth problems. During these dental checks your dentist will remove built-up plaque you are unable reach while also looking for signs of decay. Moreover, a regular dental exam helps identify:

  1. The early signs of gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the elderly. However, by the time the average person notices the signs, it’s almost always too late to reverse things. This is why a periodical dental check is important to find out if your gums show signs of trouble.
  2. Dangerous medication interactions. Older patients, especially if they take various medications, risk a dry mouth or xerostomia. Xerostomia is the reduction of saliva flow. This process increases the risks of tooth decay and gum disease. About 800 drugs can cause dry mouth, so you should make sure to inform your dentist about any medications you take. Changes in prescription and saliva-like oral mouthwashes can help alleviate the problem.
  3. The early signs of oral cancer. 9 out of 10 oral cancer cases can be treated if detected early on. However if undetected, the cancer spreads throughout the body and is difficult to treat.

Worn out teeth due to tooth grinding. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is triggered by anxiety or stress. Over time grinding wears down the teeth’s chewing surfaces, making them vulnerable to decay. If you have signs of bruxism, your dentist can recommend wearing a mouthguard at night to stop grinding.

Typically, good oral hygiene can prevent tooth decay and most gum diseases. All it takes is a few minutes a day of brushing and flossing your teeth and regular checkups from your local Shreveport dentist, for a lifetime of having a happy and healthy mouth!

How To Maintain Healthy Teeth

For some, brushing their teeth has become a dreaded chore. The nagging feeling of having to stroll to the bathroom sink and stand at attention with a toothbrush has haunted many since the beginning of oral health. Children and adults alike seem to struggle with brushing and flossing their teeth consistently, but there’s a number of reasons why maintaining a healthy mouth is important.

The benefits of healthy teeth are fairly obvious to most people. After all it’s one of the first things we notice when meeting someone for the first time. Healthy gums, on the other hand, isn’t as easily noticed. Let’s be honest, having healthy gums does not come up at the water cooler at work, but maintaining healthy gums can greatly prevent some major health issues, such as lowering the risk of heart disease.

In this two part series, Shreveport dentist, Dr. Chris Mott shares some simple tips on how to help keep your family’s teeth strong and healthy throughout their life.

Be Sure to Floss and Brush Twice a Day

“Your teeth are absolutely perfect! You must floss all the time and brush your teeth all the time,” is not always what comes out of our dentist’s mouth when we show up for a cleaning. As adults, we reassure our dentist that we’ll make a “better effort” to floss. This small daily chore can play a pivotal role in preventing gum diseases and tooth decay for all ages, not just your older adults.

It’s also important to change toothbrushes three or four times a year. Those with braces may need special toothbrushes and other similar tools to brush and clean their teeth. If a person with arthritis finds it difficult to hold a toothbrush or use floss, he could use an electric toothbrush or place a cycle grip on a regular toothbrush handle for an easier grip.

Teach Children at a Young Age

Always implement healthy dental practices as soon as your child’s first tooth appears. This will happen at around 6 months. Clean their teeth with a clean, damp cloth, or a very soft brush if they are very young, but you can let your child brush for himself at the age of 2.

Always supervise your child until you are sure that he can handle the toothbrush on his own without hurting himself or dropping it on the floor. By teaching your child to brush at a young age, you can prevent developing tooth decay and cavities!

Rinse After Eating or Chew Gum

Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial rinse also helps prevent decay and gum problems. If you are not able to rinse after you eat, try chewing sugar-free gum after meals to help increase saliva flow. The saliva will wash bacteria away and neutralize acids you have eaten during your meal.

Get Sealants at a Young Age

When permanent molars develop at the age of six, you can apply a thin protective coating, or sealant, on the back teeth chewing surfaces to help prevent decay of pits and fissures. It’s important to have your teeth sealed as soon as possible to prevent decay at early on. Unfortunately, only a third of children in the U.S. use dental sealants.

Cultivate Healthy Eating Habits

A healthy, well-balanced diet of grains, nuts, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables is important for healthy teeth and gums. Even omega-3 fats in fish can help reduce inflammation and the risk of gum disease. Eating foods that are good for you will help build strong teeth and prevent breakage.

Stay tuned for next week, as your Shreveport dentist, Dr. Mott, shares more tips on maintaining a healthy mouth. If you have any questions, contact our office for more information on how you can keep your mouth in tip-top shape!

Bossier Dentistry: 6 Tips To Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

6 Tips On How To Get Your Kid To Brush

As a parent, it can be hard to get your child to understand the importance of brushing their teeth. You probably spend more time in the bathroom trying to get your child to brush properly than you do making breakfast every day, which can be frustrating when you want to leave the house on time each morning.

To many parents, it may seem like your child will never learn to brush his or her teeth properly, but there are many things you can do to cut down on the time you spend standing guard at the sink. Use these tips to have your kids on board the dental health train in no time!

Seek Professional Help

If your child is struggling with making dental health a priority, you should look for a local Bossier dentistry. A qualified dentist office, such Dr. Chris Motts’, understands the importance of early oral health habits. Regularly visiting your dentist is a vital part in understanding your child’s oral health needs and teaching your children the importance of oral hygiene.

Get Into A Routine 

Children tend to forget things that aren’t a scheduled daily activity. It is important to set a particular time each day for your child to brush his or her teeth. The most preferred times, according to Dr. Mott’s Bossier dentistry practice, is during the morning and before bedtime. This will help your child become accustomed to the activity. Eventually your child will be able to continue this routine on their own and you will not have to supervise as often.

Be A Role Model 

Children look up to their parents. They imitate how they dress, speak, and even how they carry out their daily chores. It is wise to use this to your advantage and let your child watch you brush your teeth. The more you allow your child to watch you brush and floss your teeth, the more he or she will be asking questions and wanting to try it out for all on their own. You can even make it a family affair and have everyone rush to the sink after breakfast and before bed!

Make Brushing Fun 

According to Dr. Mott’s Bossier dentistry, kids should use their own type of children’s toothpaste. This is a flavored toothpaste, which, despite the flavoring, is actually just as effective as any other toothpaste. Using a flavored toothpaste will protect your child’s teeth while providing a more positive brushing experience.

You can also accompany the toothpaste with a fun toothbrush. You can find toothbrushes with cartoon characters, princesses, and animals on them at your local grocery or health store. Take your child with you to choose their own toothbrush to give them something to look forward to every night!

Reward Good Behavior 

Your child will be more likely to do something if you actively provide positive reinforcement. You should use this technique for good oral health habits, such as brushing and flossing. When your child brushes his or her teeth be sure you let them know that they did a good job. Rewarding your child for brushing their teeth will make them look forward to doing it and will encourage them to continue their routine.

Sing A Song 

There are hundreds of songs out there to help your child learn how to brush their teeth. Starting the teeth brushing routine with a song or a jingle, your child will know exactly what time it is and what to do. You can even create a song yourself or find one online to use. Either way your child will be ready, toothbrush in hand, and awaiting their two minutes of stardom as they sings their solo at the sink.

As you have learned, brushing time doesn’t need to be a frustrating time for anyone! While getting your child to brush habitually is an excellent start, it is always important to take some time to seek advice from the experts on oral health from your local Bossier dentistry to keep track of their oral habits and get advice from professionals like Dr. Chris Mott.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Fun Foods That Are Great for Your Kid’s Teeth

Good nutrition is important to a child’s health, but that includes their teeth too! Kids are constantly growing and developing, and so are their teeth, which is why they require foods from each food group.

The question is, exactly what kinds of foods are best? Here are the foods that will help keep your child’s dental health in tip-top shape.

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats

For optimum health, it is suggested that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are included in every meal, but balance is key.

Normally, a child’s diet has a higher concentration of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates contain starches and sugars. Some are harmful, and some are essential. The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits are more beneficial, while the starchy carbohydrates in pasta and bread can be more problematic if consumed in large quantities.


If your child is not lactose intolerant, try adding some yogurt, cheese, and milk to the menu. Foods rich in calcium are believed to help tooth strength and brightness. These foods are also great for promoting strong bones, which is super important, especially when it comes to growing children.

Lean proteins and nuts

The phosphorus found in certain protein-rich foods can prove helpful in restoring minerals to your kid’s teeth, which in turn protects the enamel. Protein is also the building block of muscle, and who doesn’t want to have strong muscles? Remember, the heart is a muscle too!

Fruits low in acid

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that includes the dentist! The crunchiness of the fruit helps work your kid’s teeth as he or she chews, and the water content acts as a buffer that protects the teeth from acid. Chewing on fruits can also help work other food particles out from between teeth.


Water is often overlooked, but it’s so important to your child’s health. No soda, energy drink, juice, or fortified water is better than plain old water. Most people do not get enough good, pure, wholesome water into their bodies to promote good health.

Water is a natural lubricant and cleanser. It is a necessary catalyst for the essential metabolism of the body, and it’s a cleansing agent that flushes waste and toxic materials from the cells in the body.

Water hydrates the body and is perhaps the best liquid to drink for maintaining a kid’s teeth. If your child enjoys soda, juice, or other drinks, try to limit their consumption and replace those sugary drinks with water instead.

There’s no substitute for regular brushing

All types of foods and snacks have the ability to cause dental cavities. Cookies, candy, pastries, and cake get the most attention when cavity-producing foods are discussed. Yet, fruits, milk, peanut butter, pretzels, chips, and juices can be equally detrimental. Regulating your child’s eating habits, along with promoting regular brushing habits, is the best way to support your child’s dental health.

Prevention is key

If no action is taken to maintain proper dental health, acid can attack the tooth enamel, allowing tooth decay to penetrate into the soft tissue inside the tooth. If the decay is not treated in its early stages, it will progress to the tooth pulp, a soft tissue containing nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph vessels. Eventually, an abscess will begin to form at the root, and without endodontic (root canal) treatment, the tooth will be lost. Proper nutrition can spare your child the pain and agony of premature tooth loss and dental disease. Prevention is key.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental health, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a checkup for your child and answer any questions you may have about the best foods to feed your family for optimal dental health.

Is This The End of Root Canals?

Dentistry’s most horrifying treatment, the root canal, is soon to be long forgotten thanks to radical new stem cell therapy. Researchers have said that this new tooth-filling method will cause teeth to repair and even regenerate. This approach will significantly impact millions of people with dental issues every year, providing dental fillings that will help heal teeth injured by dental surgery or disease.

Wyss Institute of Harvard University
Researchers on dental care from the Wyss Institute of Harvard University and the University of Nottingham have come up with a therapeutic, light-curable, synthetic biomaterial. They are supposed to allow native dental stem cells from teeth to repair and regenerate dentin. Research shows that the dental fillings currently common in dentistry are deadly to cells and, therefore, are incompatible with the pulp tissue inside the tooth. For now, the scientists involved in this study have been exceptionally recognized for their soon-to-be huge discovery—even the Royal Society of Chemistry is awarding them.

Still Testing….
For many of us, this is, indeed, news to make us smile, but not so fast. At this point, cell cultures are still being tested in labs and will soon be tested on rodents. The good news is that the stem cells could very well be the solution to ending root canals; however, unfortunately, it’s still unknown when this procedure could be applied to humans, and it could take years of testing and research for it to be introduced into modern dentist’s’ practice. However, for now, the research is successful, and it’s just a matter of time before this becomes a reality.

Why Is the New Research So Important?
As said earlier, the materials currently used in dental care to fill a patient’s tooth normally have content that is harmful to oral cells. With this new scientific discovery, scientists say they are hopeful they will put an end to that. They are also hopeful that this technique will recreate parts of a patient’s tooth in a safe and a natural way. They are also confident the use of stem cells could end the painful, loud, anxiety-causing drilling method of doing root canals.

Imagine what this could do. More and more people may actually want to be checked and treated since this new method will be painless and, most importantly, will not let impurities in your mouth. Business will also be good for dentists.

So, should we still be treated with traditional root canals until this procedure is released?

While we wait for this new discovery procedure to be made publicly available to treat humans, there is still hope. Currently, lasers are used in root canal therapy while using high pressure plus water in getting rid of dead or infected oral tissues and infections. With this new awaited method, those dreadful thoughts we always get when planning to see a dentist will be gone.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Weird Facts – Why do some people have no wisdom teeth?

Impacted third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, can cause a lot of suffering. However, some people are free of this curse – in fact, certain ethnic groups, like the Inuit, have remarkably low rates of wisdom teeth. But why do some people have wisdom teeth while others do not? New research may provide the answer.

According to Alan Mann, a Princeton University researcher, a random mutation took place thousands of years ago resulting in the suppression of wisdom teeth formation. This trait has spread and is the cause in certain people and groups of the total or partial lack of wisdom teeth.

The oldest fossil to be found missing the third molar comes from China and is about 300,000 years old, suggesting the date of the first mutation. Humans, like other mammals, originally had four sets of three molars for a total of 12 teeth to help in chewing food. According to Mann, when humans underwent an evolution that resulted in a significant brain expansion, there was an architectural problem; the jaw had to become narrower to be able to connect to the lower end of the skull.

During this period, and even after, the genes controlling brain size developed differently from those controlling dental quantity. Narrower jaws left little room for the wisdom teeth to erupt from the jaw, leading to a mismatch. This is a familiar problem for most people. Wisdom teeth often don’t fit, and if they don’t make it through the gum (become impacted), they can become infected, potentially leading to real health problems. Even when not infected, impacted wisdom teeth can still cause pain.

These reasons may partly explain the mutation causing a lack of wisdom teeth in certain people and groups. Following basic evolutionary theory, we can assume that the pain could have made humans less likely to reproduce, therefore favoring those with the mutation.

About 10 to 25 percent of Americans who descended from European ancestry miss at least one third molar in their dentistry; however, 45 percent of the Inuit who live in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Greenland and Canada lack at least one of their third molars.

One reason for this disparity is that this group had its origins in Asia, which is where this mutation began. And, like Asians, the Inuits have flatter faces and, hence, narrower jaws, making it even harder for the wisdom teeth to grow.

As years go by and people continue to marry across races, this mutation will continue to spread until, one day, most of the global population will have no third set of the molar in their dentistry. This will be a relief, cutting down on dental problems and visits to the dentist to extract wisdom teeth due to infections or chronic pain at the end of the jaw and ears.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.