Halloween Candy, Frequency, Not Amount, Raises Cavity Risk

Halloween can present a very scary time of year for any parent concerned about their child’s oral health, since kids will probably come home with that big haul of candy from trick or treating. But should you let them immediately gorge themselves on the candy and get it out of their system?

Temple University pediatric dentist Mark Helpin thinks that might not be such a bad idea.

“The frequency of eating candy, and other refined carbohydrates, and their stickiness, are big factors in creating the risk of caries (cavities),” he said.

Eating carbohydrates can change the pH balance of the mouth, making it more acidic, which can increase the risk of cavities. Each time candy is eaten, the acid environment in the mouth can take up to an hour to dissipate.

Giant Tigerfish with Razor-Sharp Teeth Caught by British Angler

A British angler has caught one of the most ferocious fish ever encountered.

Jeremy Wade reeled in the prehistoric looking monster on a fishing expedition to the River Congo.

The goliath tigerfish is one of the most fearsome freshwater fish in the world and are said to be much bigger and deadlier versions of the piranha.

It has 32 teeth that are of similar size to those of a great white shark and has been known to attack humans and even crocodiles before.

It has only ever been caught by a handful of fishermen due to the danger it poses and the fact its habitat is notoriously hard to reach.

Wade, from Bath, Somerset, England, took extra care when reeling in this specimen, which weighed more than 100 lbs and was 5 ft long.

Taking a Closer Look at Plaque

A team of University of Rochester scientists is using the technique of Raman spectroscopy to study 2 common dental plaque bacteria, Streptococcus sanguis and mutans. The relative balance of the two may be an indicator of a patient’s oral health and risk for tooth decay—S sanguis is associated with “healthy” plaque, while mutans is associated with tooth decay.

Raman spectroscopy offers the potential to analyze samples of the bacterium in a simple, rapid and quantitative manner as compared to microbiology techniques, including the ability to study spatial distributions of bacterial species, living or dead, within samples.

“We’re using Raman spectroscopy to study these oral bacterial biofilms, essentially observing how two species scatter light into shifted wavelengths in a unique way. We can then use these characteristic spectra to identify ‘unknown’ samples of these species,” says Brooke Beier, a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. “Studying the spatial distributions of the good versus bad bacteria under various growth conditions may help scientists determine more effective treatments to prevent tooth decay.”

West Virginia Dentists Find Gene for Sweet Tooth

Researchers at West Virginia University found a gene they believe causes a “sweet tooth.”

The study was conducted over a seven-year period and involved more than 7,000 people. It uncovered a gene that predisposes people that can’t help but eat more sweets. The discovery could enable dentists to prevent many kinds of oral diseases.

Parents of children found to possess the gene can pay extra attention to their child’s teeth brushing habits. These children may also need to visit the dentist more often than children who do not have the gene.

Wolverine Undergoes Root Canal

A wolverine will have four root canals performed on it by veterinary dentists in Winnipeg, according to CBC News.

The wolverine is considered one of the fiercest animals in the world. This wolverine is an 11-year-old from Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo.

The veterinarians found the dental problems last month when treating the animal for another problem. They discovered the teeth issue and realized the animal needed a lot of work.

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