Generations Dental (Formerly Fullwiler Dental) with the same great dentists, specializes in assessing your specific situation and offering a variety of services to ensure that your teeth work the way you need them to work.
Probiotic for fighting oral bacteria that causes cavities.
One Step Closer to Oral Probiotic Supplement
It seems like probiotics are everywhere these days; yogurt, kombucha and kimchi abound in nearly every supermarket. There's good reason for this trend – greater and greater amounts of evidence continue to merge that suggest our internal microbiome influences everything from our metabolism to our moods. Recently, a new beneficial strain of oral bacteria has been isolated by researchers at the University of Florida. This strain is of particular interest because it promotes a basic pH and seems to inhibit growth of S. mutans, the major culprit implicated in caries formation.
The strain, currently referred to as A12, is found more commonly in the mouths of people with few or no cavities. The bacteria creates ammonia from two common compounds in the mouth: urea (secreted naturally by the host) and arginine (an amino acid). This property is of interest to scientists and health professionals since it directly opposes the action of S. mutans, which ferments sugar into lactic acid, eroding the teeth. However, A12 goes further than just neutralizing acid in the oral environment – research indicates the bacteria can actually kill S. mutans.
Strain A12 competes vigorously against S. mutans by secreting peroxide bursts and interfering with the processes that allow it to form biofilms. The researchers found that when strain A12 was grown with S. mutans, the latter was unable to form effective plaque structures and did not grow as rapidly as usual.
This discovery holds both diagnostic and treatment potential. First, measuring the levels of A12 in a patient's mouth compared to other bacterial species could tell dentists about the greater state of the patient's oral health. This could be used to prevent caries and gingivitis before they begin. Second, a suspension of the microbes in saline could be used as a probiotic rinse, inoculating the patient with beneficial bacteria, which along with improved oral hygiene could rapidly change the oral health of a patient in need of improvement. The NIH agrees, recently awarding a three-million-dollar grant to USF to examine the activity of A12 and similar bacteria.
For many pregnant women, bumping up their flossing routine – much less scheduling their first dental visit in years – may fall last on their to-do lists.
But for dentists and doctors, the connections between mothers’ oral health and the health of their babies – before and after they’re born – are vitally important.
“Prenatal dental care is huge,” said Justin Rader, director of the Dirne Dental Clinic in Coeur d’Alene. “It’s big for the fetus’s health, for the mother’s health.”
Many women miss out, however. According to a 2010 report released by the Spokane Regional Health District, just 56 percent of women reported they visited the dentist while they were pregnant.
That kind of data isn’t available about North Idaho residents, said Linda Harder, a health education specialist at the Panhandle Health District. But, seeing a need, the district provided free fluoride treatments and cleanings to some low-income women.
“With those gals, quite a few of them had not seen a dentist in years, and it was pretty horrendous,” Harder said.
That’s during a time when women’s oral health may be at especially high risk, which research suggests could put their babies’ health at risk, too. Here’s why pregnancy is hard on mothers’ mouths – and how oral health can affect pregnancy.
Pregnancy changes what you eat – and what you can’t stand.
For many pregnant women, the smell or taste of toothpaste induces nausea, and they brush less thoroughly.
Meanwhile, they indulge pregnancy cravings or eat sugary snacks or sugary drinks to try to combat first-trimester nausea, which also can contribute to decay.
Then there’s the vomiting. When women experience morning (or afternoon or evening) sickness, the acid can erode teeth.
After morning sickness, women should rinse their mouths with water and use a fluoride rinse, but hold off brushing for 20 minutes to allow the acid to dissipate, said Melissa Haidu, dental director at CHAS. The acid softens tooth enamel, and brushing them right away just makes it worse.
Pregnancy hormones affect your mouth.
Bleeding gums are common in women who never suffered that problem before pregnancy.
“A lot of my pregnant patients come in and say, ‘My gums are just bleeding and bleeding and bleeding, and I don’t know what to do,’ ” Haidu said.
Researchers say high progesterone and estrogen levels are connected to gingivitis.
“For pregnant women, your hormones are out of whack,” said Jessica Pearson, dental department supervisor at the Riverstone Family Health Clinic in northeast Spokane.
Swollen, tender gums can lead to serious bacterial infections in your mouth, called periodontitis.
Research suggests bacteria from infections in your mouth can reach developing fetuses.
A cavity in your tooth can affect your whole body, Rader said. When pregnant women allow a cavity to go untreated, “they’re affecting not only their health but the fetal development.”
When a pregnant woman has a tooth abscess – a collection of pus, basically, as a result of decay or a broken or chipped tooth – acid and bad bacteria are injected into her bloodstream when she bites down, Rader said. The bacteria can reach the baby, slowing its development, he said.
The research isn’t conclusive, according to the oral-health report by the Spokane Regional Health District.
But early research suggests there’s an increased risk for preterm birth or low birth weight among women with dental infections, the report said. As the bacteria enter the bloodstream and then the uterus, they trigger the production of chemicals suspected of inducing preterm labor.
With every sweet kiss comes a dose of bacteria, too.
The relationship between mothers’ oral health and their babies’ health continues after the babies are born.
Each person has his or her own oral microflora, which is what dentists call the bacterial environment in your mouth.
Good bacteria help ward off bad ones, creating a “healthy biofilm” around your teeth to protect them, Rader said. Bad bacteria contribute to tooth decay.
When mothers kiss their babies, share food or silverware with them or transfer saliva in any way, they’re transferring their bacteria.
Women with healthy mouths will transmit less harmful bacteria to their babies, improving the child’s chances of good oral health.
“Babies are born without all the bacteria in the mouth that we have,” Haidu said. “They have some, but not the mess we have.”
Teens often ignore dental health - Spokesman Review.
“It’s like pouring acids on minerals,” Dr. Rader said. “You’re washing your tooth away.” -------
The teen years are hard on teeth, and Dr. Justin Rader often sees the evidence when adolescent patients open their mouths.
Frequent snacking, sugary lattes and energy drinks take their toll on the enamel of young teeth, whose owners may not be diligent about brushing and flossing.
In a free dental screening Thursday afternoon at Lakes Middle School, Rader gave a dental hygiene pitch to the patients in his chair, while their parents listened in.
Dental plaque is like “wet goo. It’s soft, so it’s easy to brush off,” the Coeur d’Alene dentist said. “But if plaque stays on your teeth longer than a day, it turns to cement. That’s when you need us to scrape it off.”
Seventeen Kootenai County teens took part in the free dental screening offered through the Panhandle Health District. In three hours, hygienists gave each of the students a fluoride varnish and put protective sealants on 87 teeth. Students who needed follow-up care got referrals and vouchers for free cleanings and fillings.
The dental screenings were part of a health fair at Lakes Middle School. Many of the students were referred by teachers, who often are the ones who spot students with tooth aches and other dental problems, said Linda Harder, the health district’s oral health program coordinator.
About 17 percent of Kootenai County residents don’t have health insurance, and even when families do, dental work can be expensive, Harder said.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, teens have distinct oral health needs, including risk factors based on the potential for poor diet, alcohol or tobacco use, jaw injuries from sports and eating disorders.
“In the last few years, we’ve seen a real need in teens for dental services,” said Melanie Collett, Panhandle Health District spokeswoman.
Asher Mattson, 18, relaxed in the dental chair Thursday while he got sealants and a fluoride varnish.
“We hadn’t seen the dentist in a long time, so we took this opportunity,” said Mattson, a student at Mountain View Alternative High School in Rathdrum, who came to the screening with his sister.
Mattson has never had a cavity. Karla Marshall, a dental hygienist, told him that she could tell he had good brushing and flossing habits. But it was time for a full check up, said Marshall, who sent him away with a referral to a dentist.
Not all teens rank that well on dental hygiene. More than 150 teens were asked about brushing and flossing during Panhandle Health District surveys in 2011 and 2012.
About 23 percent of the students said they brushed their teeth only a few times a week. More than half never flossed.
Every child is different, said Amanda Maloney, who brought her three children to the screening.
She has to remind her 13-year-old to brush her teeth, which seems to come more naturally to her 11-year-old.
“The pre-teen and teen years can be hard,” said Rader, the dentist. Parents are giving their children more autonomy and responsibility, so they don’t always monitor dental hygiene.
That’s why Rader works on the educational message for young patients: brush twice daily for two minutes each, floss and use a mouth rinse at night to lower bacteria levels in the mouth.
He’s also developed some vivid imagery to describe how sipping lattes or energy drinks all day affects tooth enamel.
“It’s like pouring acids on minerals,” he said. “You’re washing your tooth away.”
Good dental habits will pay dividends for years to come, said Harder, the oral health program coordinator.
Tooth decay and gum disease are linked to a variety of problems, including poor academic performance, difficulty making friends and less success later in life, Harder said.
Poor oral health also plays a role in other types of the health problems, including heart disease, strokes and premature births in pregnant women.