If you’re an Indiana Jones type but you’re wondering if there’s anything left for you to discover anymore, you might want to take up a career in dentistry after reading this. Okay, it’s a little different… we said you might.
Like any health science practitioners, dentists are always discovering new and exciting things about who we are as a species – and 2016 was a big year for some of the world’s best dentists. Check out the five most incredible discoveries that dentists made in 2016 below!
Macaques, some of our closest living primate relatives, have helped us to uncover a link between lowered testosterone and periodontal disease. When scientists began to investigate the conditions of oral health, they noticed that all of the castrated males showed signs of periodontitis and other oral health issues – and much more exacerbated than the other males of the same age. The manager of the center’s Primate Skeletal Collections made note of the bone that supports the teeth, and how it had dramatically receded away in older castrated males. There may not be as many eunuchs as in the good old days, but men who suffer from prostate cancers or a diagnosis of low testosterone may find this information helpful to ensure that they are caring for their teeth properly.
Anaesthetic needles are something that most of our patients probably don’t enjoy as much as they endure. But 2016 saw a new study find a new approach to administering anaesthetic. Instead, dentists can look forward to using a small electric current to give the anaesthetic – which not only saves time and money, but the sweat and tears of any overly-anxious recipients. This could be huge for oral hygiene, as people who are avoiding dental care for fear of the syringe could potentially seek out much-needed procedures.
Researchers have found that adults with more than eight fillings have 150% more mercury in their blood than those without any filling at all. Yikes.
High levels of mercury can be toxic, and can cause lung, heart, brain, and immune system issues – that’s just to start with.
Amalgam fillings are made up of mercury, silver, tin, and other metals, and has been the industry standard for over 150 years – thankfully, our next discovery comes right on cue…
Bioactive glass is being studied for its ability to reduce bacteria’s capacity to attack composite fillings, and may even help to provide minerals that the tooth may have lost during decay. Made with compounds such as silicon oxide, calcium oxide, and phosphorus oxide, our bodies are reactive to the glass which may prove to prolong the life of fillings and slow tooth decay.
If you breathe through your mouth in your sleep, your mouth is dried out of all that valuable saliva that would usually coat your mouth. This results in an acidic oral environment, which paves the way for dental erosion and loss of enamel. Mouths of nose-breathers had a pH level of 7 during studies in New Zealand, while mouthbreathers experienced a drop in pH – periodically as low as 3.6! Anything below 5.5 is the threshold where tooth enamel starts to demineralise, making people who breathe through their mouth when they sleep at higher risk of decay.
For more fun facts about amazing advances in dentistry and valuable industry insights, keep an eye on our blog which we update regularly. For the best dentist in Perth, call Carillon City Dental. Our team of dentists can help you through any emergency or issue you may be experiencing, and can discuss your options with you as you decide on your chosen form of treatment.