Could a Chinese Herb, “Galla Chinesis”, Prevent Tooth Decay?

Chinese herb to prevent tooth decay

Just this week, while reading Dr. Joe Mercola’s daily newsletter, I learned about a recent study done by Chinese researchers showing that a Chinese herb, Galla Chinesis shows great promise at preventing tooth decay.

What is Galla Chinesis?

According to lead author Xuelian Huang and his team, Galla Chinesis (also known as Chinese gall or Chinese sumac) was found to have “strong potential to prevent caries due to its antibacterial capacity and tooth mineralization benefit.”

 “Galla Chinesis water extract has been demonstrated to inhibit dental caries by favorably shifting the demineralization/remineralization balance of enamel and inhibiting the biomass and acid formation of dental biofilm”.

In layman’s terms; the herb appears to be able to inhibit the formation of bacterial plaque and its acid attack on teeth as well as making teeth stronger.

What Does This Mean for Dentistry?

Unfortunately, a commercial product containing this herb could be years in the making as the team has yet to identify the active ingredient responsible for the anticaries claim!

Having Healthier Teeth Starts with a Healthier Diet

In the meantime, please remember as Dr. Mercola so eloquently points out “your best answer is already at hand.  If you want to have healthy teeth, you must start from the inside out, and that means cleaning up your diet”.

As we head into the Christmas season with so many sugar-laden foods at our finger-tips please remember that the highly-addictive, “white death” sugar has been implicated as a major player in more than just tooth decay.  According to webmd.comEating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks”.

Educating ourselves should always be the first step in understanding why we should or should not do certain things and if we know why, it helps us to own and embrace a good habit.  I know how difficult it is to say no, especially with the many tempting holiday goodies everywhere we go!  Be smart, and try to always remember the health effects of everything you put into your mouth during the holidays.

On that note; I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas season and may joy and peace be with you and yours throughout the coming New Year.

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

IST – Interim Stabilization Therapy – Part 2

IST - Interim Stabilization Therapy

In continuing with my research regarding the long-term viability of IST, as per an extensive literature review that was completed by the Region of Peel in May of this year:

I offer the following “Key Messages” developed by the team:

  1. Interim Stabilization Therapy/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment are effective as a single surface temporary restoration for dental caries, on both primary and permanent teeth.
  2. High viscosity glass ionomer cements should be used as the material of choice for Interim Stabilization Therapy/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment.
  3. While the quality of evidence is weak in this area, the use of Interim Stabilization Therapy/Atraumatic Restorative Treatment may be beneficial in aiding with client-provider rapport and building client self-esteem.

As a public health organization, Peel Public Health (PPH) is mandated by the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) to provide oral health programming to applicable populations.

The OPHS was recently updated, including the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program (HSO) protocol which now includes offering IST/ART to clinically eligible, preventive service stream enrolled children and youth.

The new HSO protocol mirrors the same parameters that I must adhere to for providing IST:

  • When access to permanent restoration is not immediate or practical
  • When there are no medical contraindications
  • When the client consents to the treatment
  • When any of the following apply:
  • There is reasonable risk of further damage to the tooth structure
  • The pulp is not exposed
  • The client is in discomfort or is experiencing difficulty in eating
  • The discomfort is due to recent trauma, fracture or lost dental restoration
  • The client has not received any medical/dental advice that would contraindicate placing a temporary restoration
  • It is in the client’s best interest to proceed

Hopefully, as this therapy becomes better utilized, we will begin to compile data supporting its long term viability.

In conclusion, I applaud the commitment of our public health institutions to offer this treatment for our underserviced and disadvantaged youth, but I am truly concerned about the lack of similar care for our at-risk adult population.

Hopefully, this treatment will be seen as a viable solution for them as well!

I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time,

Kathleen

Bee Propolis Reduces Tooth Sensitivity

bee propolis reduces tooth sensitivity

I am always on the lookout for more natural solutions to oral health care problems and this week I came across a study that was published in 2014 in The Journal of The Indian Society of Periodontology that concluded:

Propolis was more effective than 5% potassium nitrate in relieving dentinal hypersensitivity and had an immediate and sustained effect.

According to this study, the all-natural propolis was actually found to be “better” than the potassium nitrate.  I am very familiar with potassium nitrate as it is the most common de-sensitizing ingredient found in most over-the-counter de-sensitizing toothpastes on the market today. While it does work for most people by reducing symptoms I am concerned that it does not address the root cause of tooth sensitivity!  While I really feel that this should always be our goal; healing the tooth instead of masking the symptoms, there are times when temporary relief is the most immediate concern! Continue reading