The top 5 dental discoveries of 2018

December 13, 2018

Dental research came a long way this year, and these studies stood out among the rest.

In 2018, the dental industry saw major developments in research and technology that led to revelations about oral-systemic health, treatment practices, opioid trends and more.

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While there were many important discoveries this year, these five stood out as the most influential, all of which are paving the way for what's sure to be an exceptional next year of dental advancements.

Click through the slides to read about this year's top dental discoveries.

 

Study finds link between oral bacteria and increased risk of esophageal cancer

By Kristen Mott

Oral bacteria has been linked to a wide range of serious medial conditions, including pancreatic cancer, stroke and lung cancer. New research shows that oral bacteria may also be linked to esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer makes up about 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 17,290 new esophageal cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2018.

To read the full article, click here.

 

Have scientists finally solved tooth decay?

By Nicholas Hamm

The cause of tooth decay has long been known - two kinds of bacteria (Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus) create a biofilm and acid that damages teeth.

Those two bacteria are often linked together by researchers in a group simply called mutans streptococci, since they both work together to form dental caries. However, much more is known about S. mutans, since it was first sequenced in 2002. S. mutans is more prevalent than its caries-causing twin and is more stable, making it much easier to study.

Read the full story here.

 

Can opioids prescribed for wisdom tooth extraction lead to long-term drug use?

By Kristen Mott

While more awareness is being spread about opioid abuse, the opioid epidemic remains a significant problem in the United States. Fortunately, the percentage of opioid prescriptions prescribed by dentists has fallen to 6.4 percent as of 2012, but the fact remains that dentists are typically one of the first medical professionals to prescribe opioids to teens and young adults for the treatment of acute pain, such as wisdom tooth removal. And according to new research, young people who fill an opioid prescription after wisdom tooth extraction may set themselves up for long-term opioid use.

To read the full article, click here.

 

Study shows toothpaste alone doesn’t protect enamel or prevent erosion

By Kristen Mott

While toothpaste is critical in the fight against plaque buildup, the simple act of brushing your teeth can cause some enamel erosion. However, more toothpastes are coming on the market that claim to protect tooth enamel, decrease sensitivity and prevent erosion.

Are these claims to be trusted? Maybe not, according to new research.

To read the full article, click here.

 

Is wine a good mouthwash?

By Nicholas Hamm

Good nightly oral hygiene should include brushing (properly, of course), flossing and maybe a mouth rinse. And as a new study shows, adding wine to that list might be a good idea.

Sure, wine can still stain teeth, but according to a new study published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it can also block off bacteria responsible for periodontal disease and caries.

Read the full story here.

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