Kangaroos Undergo Innovative Dental Treatment In Israel

Israeli veterinarians have developed a life-saving medicine for use on kangaroos’ teeth, curing the jumping marsupials of the deadly Lumpy Jaw disease.

At Gan Guru Australian wildlife park in northern Israel, almost 40% of the kangaroo population has died from the disease, previously considered almost untreatable.

“What you saw today was a treatment against Lumpy Jaw Disease,” said Meytal Bakal-Weiss, Gan Guru Park veterinarian. “It’s a dental disease of kangaroos. It’s one of the most common causes of mobility and mortality among kangaroos in captivity.”

Japanese Study Suggests Wasabi Prevents Tooth Decay

Scientists in Japan have suggested that wasabi can help to prevent tooth decay.

Wasabi is a pungent plant from the Cruciferous family, which is often served in Japanese restaurants as an accompaniment to sushi. The study found that a chemical compound, known as isothiocyanates, which is found in wasabi, helps to prevent decay. The compound inhibits the growth of Streptococcus bacteria, which are the form of bacteria that cause decay.

Previous studies have found that isothiocyanates have other health benefits, including the prevention of blood clots and benefits for asthma sufferers. There have also been suggestions that the compound can help to prevent cancer.

Mercury Debate Resurfaces in the United States

The long-debated subject of the safety of mercury fillings has resurfaced in several areas in the United States and the US Food and Drug Administration is now conducting further investigations into amalgam fillings.

Mercury fillings have been used for hundreds of years. However, they are becoming less common, as an increasing number of people choose to have natural-looking, tooth-colored fillings made of composite materials and ceramics.

For many years, concerns over the safety of metal amalgam fillings have been raised, with many people suggesting that the fillings contribute to a range of health problems and harm the environment, once they have been taken out.

Elephant Gets Root Canal

Dentists in southern India performed root canal surgery on a giant scale to rid a 27-year-old elephant of chronic tusk ache, officials said.

A three-member team of dentists helped by a veterinary surgeon carried out the two-and-a-half-hour operation on the male pachyderm, which developed a cavity in one of its tusks, they said.

The operation took place in early November after the owner of the pet elephant brought the animal for an examination of the infection that had damaged the tusk.

“We decided to use the traditional root canal process as a remedy,” dentist Sunil Kumar said.

Toothpaste Chemical Linked to Brain Damage in Unborn Babies

A new approach to anchor teeth back in the jaw using stem cells has been developed and successfully tested in the laboratory for the first time by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The new strategy represents a potential major advance in the battle against gum disease, a serious infection that eventually leads to tooth loss. About 80 percent of US adults suffer from gum disease, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Researchers in UIC’s Brodie Laboratory for Craniofacial Genetics used stem cells obtained from the periodontal ligament of molars extracted from mice, expanded them in an incubator, and then seeded them on barren rat molars. The stem cell-treated molars were reinserted into the tooth sockets of rats.

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