Posts tagged with "dental"

Growing New Chompers

Unlike people, crocodiles do not clean their teeth to slow down wear and tear. Instead, they get rid of them and replace them with new copies.

Having one of the most powerful bites in the animal kingdom, crocodiles must be able to bite hard to eat their food such as turtles, wildebeest and other large prey. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that crocodiles — and even their plant-eating ancestors — had thin tooth enamel, a trait that is in stark contrast to humans and other hard-biting species. These findings could suggest new approaches for dealing with people’s teeth.

“Once we unlock genetically how crocodiles and other non-mammals do this, maybe new teeth can be bioengineered for people,” said Brianne Schmiegelow, a former undergraduate student at MU and current dental student at University of Missouri-Kansas City. “Instead of using fillers such as crowns, people could instead ‘grow’ new teeth when they need to replace their worn out chompers.”

The team used a three-dimensional x-ray scanner to measure the thickness of tooth enamel in crocodiles. They found regardless of tooth position — incisor, canine, molar — age or diet, crocodiles do not have thick tooth enamel. With this new information, the team also studied published data on dinosaur teeth and found that the data nearly matched what they were seeing in crocodiles. For instance, a Tyrannosaurus rex has the same enamel thickness as a crocodile and can also bite extremely hard.

“Crocodiles bite really hard, so we were curious if they have teeth that correspondingly withstand those forces — tough teeth to match a tough bite,” said Kaleb Sellers, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine at the University of Missouri and lead researcher on the study. “We found that they don’t have tough teeth, and we think it’s because they replace their teeth like most other non-mammal animals. That made us wonder if other animals — even prehistoric — had similar issues.”

Researchers said the next step is to study tooth replacement and the timing of teeth growth in crocodiles and other animals such as dinosaurs — even looking into the possibility of genetic causes.

“Enamel takes a long time to build, so it’s not something animals will do ‘off-the-cuff,’ so to speak,” said Casey Holliday, an associate professor of anatomy in the MU School of Medicine. “It presents us with an interesting puzzle. If ancient crocodiles were chewing plants, did their new teeth already have the correct architecture — dimples and facets — to allow for this chewing? The findings here have paved the way for exploring this mystery with future research.”

The study, “The significance of enamel thickness in the teeth of Alligator mississippiensis and its diversity among crocodyliforms,” was published in the Journal of Zoology. Funding was provided by a National Science Foundation grant (NSF-EAR 1631684), the University of Missouri Research Board, the University of Missouri Research Council, and the University of Missouri Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Opportunity program. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.

4 Ways A Great Smile Can Improve Your Life

We’ve all heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the truth is we sometimes make quick judgments about people based on appearance.

One of the first things we see when meeting someone is their smile, and research shows that owning a pleasing smile can significantly influence a person’s life – from their self-esteem to job prospects and even romance.

“A smile is the gateway to your personality, and it also creates an immediate and often lasting perception,” says Steven J. Moravec, an orthodontist and author of Going The Extra Smile: Merging Technology And Expertise For A Lifetime Of Smiles.

“One of the most universal biases is toward pleasant-looking people. Those who smile easily and confidently are often perceived as happier, smarter, and healthier than those with misaligned teeth, who aren’t as comfortable smiling.”

Moravec says there are a number of ways having a consistent smile can improve a person’s life, including:

  • A boost in self-confidence. “Straight teeth are the physical foundation for a smile, which brings confidence personally and professionally,” Moravec says. An Invisalign-Harris Poll survey found 92 percent of adults who straightened their teeth said doing so had been good for their confidence. “Smiling also elevates your mood with the release of endorphins in your brain and creates an overall sense of well-being,” Moravec says.
  • Economic benefits. Crooked teeth can be a disadvantage when competing for a job with someone whose smile reveals straight teeth. Most Americans believe the latter person is more likely to get that job even if the skill sets and experience levels are similar. “Your smile is an investment that will increase in value through the years,” Moravec says.  
  • Enhanced social life. When it comes to attracting a possible mate on a dating site, those with a nice smile and straight teeth are seen as more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a date based on their picture. “Whether a person’s smile and teeth are straight or crooked can have a significant impact on his or her romantic success,” Moravec says. “Teeth play a major role in attractiveness, which also implies good hygiene, personal pride, and by extension a more together person.”
  • Overall health improvement. “Straight teeth are easier to clean,” Moravec says. “You can keep tartar at bay and prevent cavities easier than if you are dealing with overlapping teeth or wide gaps. And because you can control tartar better, this is huge for overall health, because then you can prevent gym or periodontal disease, which has been linked with heart disease, strokes and other chronic conditions.” Also, Moravec notes that realigned teeth and a repositioned bite can help people who have sleep apnea.

“We often take our smile for granted,” Moravec says. “But it’s a gift that leads to many good things in life.”

About Steven J. Moravec, DDS, MS, MA

Steven J. Moravec is the owner of Moravec Orthodontics and the author of Going The Extra Smile: Merging Technology And Expertise For A Lifetime Of Smiles. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and earned an MS in Orthodontics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He’s a state-licensed  Specialist in Orthodontics and a guest lecturer for the University of Illinois Department of Orthodontics and SureSmile.

Lenny Kravitz’s Twice Charity

TWICE TOOTHPASTE & GLO GOOD FOUNDATION HOST 4th ANNUAL MISSION & DENTAL CLINIC IN ELEUTHERA, BAHAMAS

430 SMILES REJUVENATED & TRANSFORMED!

Last weekend, Twice and GLO Good Foundation hosted their fourth annual Mission and Dental Clinic in Eleuthera, Bahamas. 2019 proved to be the most successful trip yet for the innovative direct-to-consumer toothpaste startup co-founded by brothers Julian and Cody Levine and Lenny Kravitz as well as the charity.

Over the course of four-and-a-half days, a team of dentists and oral care specialists set up shop in the center of Eleuthera and treated patients, offering gratis cleanings, fillings, root canals, extractions, and surgical procedures on-site. The three company founders maintained a presence with boots on the ground, leading the proceedings each day. This marked a full circle moment for Twice, as the now-launched brand was inspired by this same mission experience just a few years ago. This time around, the founders were able to donate and provide Twice toothpaste to every patient seen at the clinic.

Additionally, instructors taught nutrition and oral care education to 200 students at the local schools, presenting the next generation with a foundation for proper dental hygiene.

“In our fourth year organizing the clinic in Eleuthera, we are again reminded of why we created Twice to unlock the power of people’s smiles. Aside from the incredible dental work that transforms lives, we put an increased focus on oral care education. There is a very large gap here, and it is one we are tackling head on. Proper education for the next generation about improving their hygiene enables our collective impact to be more sustainable. Now they can maintain a healthier lifestyle going forward, “ the Levine brothers said.

Following the official launch late last year, Twice’a flagship products are available on the company’s web site now. Giving back worldwide, 10% of all profits benefit GLO Good Foundation, which serves communities in dire need of proper dental care with life changing dentistry, education and supplies.

Twice and GLO Good have a shared mission to expand these services across the US and abroad over the coming years. Stay tuned for more product and news from Twice throughout 2019.

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‘‘Tis The Season For Dental Hygiene

The winter months bring around an exciting holiday time of year, but they also bring cold weather and health threats. Aside from your common cold, the flu, and other immune system worries – the holiday season also poses a serious, overlooked-by-many, threat to your teeth.

Dentists this time of year run down their lists, check them twice, and can easily tell if you’ve been naughty or nice to your teeth.

I represent Dr. Mazen Natour, Top NYC DMD and Prosthodontist who says your teeth may be more sensitive during the winter months and prone to cavities, staining, and more. Here are some reasons why:

• Hot beverages, like hot cocoa, tea, and coffee can irritate nerve endings due to the large temperature difference between the hot beverage and cold outdoor temperatures

• Sugary treats, like holiday cocktails, seasonal pies and other baked goods can increase your chance of tooth decay, sensitivity, and cavities

• Colds and sinus infections, common in the winter, swell the maxillary sinus area near your teeth which can contribute to tooth pain and overall sensitivity

• Did you know that red wine drinking can stain your teeth? Keep this in mind as you’re reaching for the extra glass at your next holiday party

Dr. Mazen Natour DMD, Manhattan-based Prosthodontist

Website: www.natourdmd.com

Dr Natour has more than 20 years of experience in implantology, cosmetic and sports dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics. He is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Implant Honors Program at New York University College of Dentistry – the world’s first Undergraduate Implant Program at the top-ranked Dental School globally. He is a renowned clinical instructor and lecturer for several leading American and European Dental Implant Companies. He is a Diplomat at the International Congress of Oral Implantology (ICOI), a Member of the Academy of Osseo Integration, American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association, and NYU Implant Alumni Association. He received his Doctorate in Dental Science from Université Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon, his Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Prosthodontics from Boston University Goldman Dental School, his Doctorate in Medical Dentistry & MSc in Biomaterials from Boston University, where he was also Assistant Clinical Professor in the General Dentistry Program, and he also completed a four-year fellowship in Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry.