Fluoride = The Best Weapon We’ve Got?

Late last year, the LA Times ran a fascinating series on the rise in lethal yet legally prescribed prescription drugs. One pain specialist they interviewed had 16 patients die from drugs he had authorized – the highest total among doctors in four Southern California counties. He said any patient death from an overdose was unacceptable, …

“Saving” Teeth by Destroying Them

Say you take your four year old child to the dentist. During the examination, the dentist tells you he found four cavities. You consent to treatment. Afterward, you take your sedation-groggy daughter home and let her nap. So later, when you look in her mouth, what do you see? If you said “four fillings,” you …

Better Teeth through Chemistry?

Did you hear the one about the new “chemical” that’s supposed to make teeth “cavity-proof”? The chemical was designed by dentists in Chile, and wipes out all the bacteria that cause cavities in just 60 seconds in tests. The chemical targets ‘streptococcus mutans’, the bacteria that turns the sugar in your mouth into lactic acid …

“Treating Cavities with Medicine”

You wouldn’t know from the opinion piece under that headline. Having been trained as a microbiologist prior to going to dental school, I tend to look for the classic signs of disease progression, such as those found in Koch’s postulates. I was well aware that caries is an infectious transmissible disease, but I could not …

If X Doesn’t Work, Try X, and If X Doesn’t Work, Try X, and…

Originally posted 17 April 2009 The American Dental Association has a bit of a track record of supporting dental procedures – the use of mercury fillings, fluoride, sealants – that have been shown to be potentially hazardous and, at best, only minimally effective. What’s especially stunning is when studies highlighting this fact show up in …

Divorcing the Mouth from the Body

Originally posted 7 August 2009 Late last month, an article published in the Journal of Dental Research by P. Hujoel of the University of Washington School of Dentistry got a notable bit of media coverage. Most of it focused on the fact that – as the article noted and one headline put it – “diets …

Can Oil “Cure” a Cavity?

NOTE: Read the follow-up/update of this post That appears to be the claim of a post we recently saw over at The Healthy Home Economist, which describes healing a child’s “cavity” with butter oil capsules and a switch from tahini to raw butter at breakfast. While it’s true that decay can be arrested with good …

Making the Good Look Bad (& the Worse Look Better)

Fruit juice is tasty stuff – but did you know that many juices contain more sugar than soda? Really and truly. For instance, 12 ounces of Coke contain 40 grams of sugar; 12 ounces of apple juice, 42 grams. Grape juice is even higher: 60 grams of sugar. This is why nutritionists say to get …

Antibiotics & Asthma, Asthma & Cavities, & Other News of Note

Antibiotic Use in Infancy May Increase Risk of Childhood Asthma (PhysOrg) Children who receive antibiotics within the first six months of life are at a significantly increased risk of developing asthma and allergies by 6 years of age, even without a genetic predisposition, new research by the Yale School of Public Health suggests. The findings …

Growing New Teeth to Replace Decayed Ones & Other News of Note

Gel That Can Help Decayed Teeth Grow Back Could End Fillings (Mail Online) The gel, which is being developed by scientists in France, works by prompting cells in teeth to start multiplying. They then form healthy new tooth tissue that gradually replaces what has been lost to decay. Researchers say in lab studies it took …