Posted by on May 21, 2013 - 2:05pm

Smoking can do more than make your teeth yellow. A study indicates smoking can make teeth go away. Researcher Xiaodan Mai of the University at Buffalo in New York found this in data on about 1,100 postmenopausal women. She compared periodontal disease or gum disease with caries or tooth decay as reasons for tooth loss.

Smoking is an important risk factor for tooth loss in older women.  “The more women smoked, the more likely they are to experience tooth loss due to periodontal disease. This pattern was not seen in tooth loss due to caries.”

Mai says tobacco has chemicals that are bad for periodontal health, and also fosters bacteria that are bad.

The study in the Journal of the American Dental Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

To learn more about the side effects of smoking, visit:

Source:  HHS HealthBeat, May 20, 2013


Posted by on March 3, 2013 - 7:57am

Are electronic toothbrushes better?  When I first started using an 'electric' toothbrush with an automated shut-off system,  it surprise me how long it ran (about 2 minutes per use).   I had gotten into the habit of brushing my teeth in 30 seconds or less during my morning rush to get to work.   So when I asked my dentist if the electric ones were 'better' she told me it probably had a lot to do with how long one brushed.

However, a new research paper was release this month in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry, that studied this very question.  Dental health is ultimately related to the plaque that builds up on your teeth. When there is excessive plaque build-up, there is increased risk for caries and inflammatory gingival and periodontal disease.  Daily tooth brushing and using other oral hygiene aids is the best way to control plaque.  The researchers compared overall plaque scores for  manual vs. powered toothbrushing in a small randomized clinical trial.  They concluded that "powered toothbrushes offer an individual the ability to brush the teeth in a way that is optimal in terms of removing plaque and improving gingival health, conferring good brushing technique on all who use them, irrespective of manual dexterity or training."