Today's Dental News

Tongue Piercings Worse With Metal

While metal tongue studs may have more flash than piercings made of plastic, a mouthful of steel also harbors more bacteria, researchers report in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Adolescent Medicine.

The study is the latest addition to a slew of reports suggesting that metal tongue studs can cause infections, damage gums and chip teeth.

Physician Ines Kapferer of the Innsbruck Medical University in Austria and colleagues identified 68 women and 12 men, average age of 23 years, who had tongue piercings with studs inserted. The researchers examined tooth and gum health in each volunteer and removed the studs. The volunteers were then randomly assigned to get a new stud made of stainless steel, titanium, polypropylene (a plastic polymer) or polytetrafluorethylene (Teflon). After two weeks, the scientists removed those studs and took swabs of the tongue, the piercing canal and each stud itself.

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Bone-loss Medication Affects Dental Health

Since the 1990s, a class of drugs called bisphosphonates has been used to prevent the loss of bone mass—also known as osteoporosis. Although these drugs do a miraculous job of slowing one’s natural bone deterioration, they are associated with an undesirable side effect related to the teeth and jawbone.

Bone, like the rest of the body, undergoes constant turnover—much like our hair or skin. As we grow older, the process of bone breakdown outpaces bone formation, causing our bones to become more porous and fragile and prone to breakage.

The role of bisphosphonates is to slow down the process of bone breakdown. The most common brand-name drugs used for these conditions are: Fosamax, Bonivia, Bonefos, Aredia, Acronel, Actonel, Zometa, Aclasta, Didronel, Skelid, and Loron.

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US Marshals Seize Dental Devices From Florida Manufacturer

US Marshals, acting under a court order sought by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on Jan. 5 and 6, seized all dental devices from Rite-Dent Manufacturing Corporation, located in Hialeah, Fla.

The seizure of dentistry products valued at $208,910 follows an FDA inspection that found significant deficiencies in the company’s manufacturing processes that may affect the safety and effectiveness of the products.

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Researchers Produce 3-D Map of Individual Atoms of Teeth

Teeth and bone are important and complex structures in humans and other animals, but little is actually known about their chemical structure at the atomic scale. What exactly gives them their renowned toughness, hardness and strength? How do organisms control the synthesis of these advanced functional composites?

Now, using a highly sophisticated atomic-scale imaging tool on a sea creature’s tooth, two Northwestern University researchers have peeled away some of the mystery of organic/inorganic interfaces that are at the heart of tooth and bone structure. They are the first to produce a 3-D map of the location and identity of millions of individual atoms in the complex hybrid material that allows the animal to literally chew rock.

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Illiterate Indian Women Perform Root Canal Operation

Bhawri and Kesar Devi of Tilonia village in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district in India have never been to school. They used to work in the fields and also doubled up as village midwives to eke out a living. Now, the two women, in their 50s, are learning tricky dental procedures like root canal operation.

Bhawri and Kesar were chosen by a team of Italian dentists visiting Tilonia’s Barefoot College, an NGO run by Sanjit Roy, popularly known as Bunker Roy. They were looking to train village women to perform basic dental procedures and make villagers aware of dental hygiene.

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